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Citing Colorado As Example, Obama Speaks To National Gun Measures

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Speaking Wednesday in Denver, President Obama used Colorado as an example to try to revive stalled gun legislation in Congress.

Recent national polls show support for stricter gun laws slipping since 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary school in December. Polls also continue to indicate widespread support for universal background checks for gun purchases.

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“There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights,” said the President.

Before his speech he spent about an hour in private discussions with law enforcement officials, Governor John Hickenlooper, families of shooting victims and sportsmen. During his remakrs Obama also took note of the gun legislation that was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper March 20.

In addition to passing universal background checks, Colorado lawmakers also approved a controversial bill limiting high capacity magazines to 15 rounds. Obama says Colorado is a western state that cherishes the second amendment and gun ownership. But he also thinks Colorado, home to two of the country’s worst mass shootings can serve as a national model.

“90% of the American people agree, so there’s no reason we can’t do this, unless politics is getting in the way,” said the President. “There’s no reason we can’t do this.”

While the polls agree with the President on that count, he was greeted upon his arrival by a small group of protesters. Colorado Sheriffs have also been speaking out against Colorado’s new regulations. They held a press conference in protest of the President’s visit, where Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith described it as a ‘victory lap.’

Governor Hickenlooper and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were also the target of the Sheriff’s ire.

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The U.S. Senate is expected to take up gun legislation next week and the president will continue his push for gun control laws. He’s speaking in Hartford Connecticut on Monday, near the location of the Newtown shooting.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
I’m not a Colorado native (did you know that "I'm from Missouri" means "I'm skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced?") but I have lived here for most of my life and couldn't imagine leaving. After graduating from Colorado State University, I did what everyone wants to do; I moved to the mountains and skied, hiked, and hid from responsibility! Our listeners in the mountains may know me from my time in Steamboat Springs and Vail or as the voice of the Battle Mountain Huskies Hockey team in Vail.
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