Beltway Confidential

John Hickenlooper nervously defends gun control laws after Colorado recalls

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Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Gun Control,Colorado

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado defended his record on gun control after two Democratic state senators were recalled by their constituents in an election on Tuesday.

Hickenlooper admitted that the special election results were likely the result of the new laws limiting high-capacity magazines and requiring universal background checks for firearms purchases, but suggested that it was an overreaction.

"It's worth saying Colorado has maintained people's right to own a gun --- we've maintained the full respect for the Second Amendment," he insisted during a press conference on Wednesday.

Hickenlooper repeatedly cited a poll showing that 80 percent of Colorado voters support universal background checks, calling the law "sound and sensible."

He admitted, however, that he was never as "fired up" about limits on ammunition magazines.

"That was a tough one," he said.

Reporters were skeptical, questioning the mood of Colorado voters against Democrats.

"You guys all know this," Hickenlooper said pleadingly. "Politics revolves around certain issues and how people talk about them, and how people's emotions respond to them and oftentimes a perceived reality is more emotionally powerful than the facts."

Hickenlooper chuckled nervously when reporters asked him what he thought these election results meant for his political future.

"Obviously, I have to do a better job of getting the facts out there," he said.

One reporter asked Hickenlooper if he would sign the bills again today if he had to do them all over again.

"You know I'm not going to second guess myself … every time I do that, it invariably gets me into trouble," Hickenlooper said as he ended the press conference.

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