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Colorado governor irks gun-rights backers for publicizing prayer

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DENVER — Colorado gun-rights advocates who met with Gov. John Hickenlooper after a protest rally Saturday may have prayed for him, but that doesn't mean they support his stance on firearms or that they appreciate his making that fact public.

Several protest organizers met with the Democratic governor after staging a demonstration at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, where he was speaking at the annual spring meeting of Club 20.

Kevin McCarney, a protest organizer and president of Freedom Colorado in Grand Junction, said at the end of the 10-minute discussion, a Club 20 official asked the group to pray for the governor.

"It was a gesture of good will for the governor. It didn't mean we agree with him," Mr. McCarney.

Mr. Hickenlooper said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he engaged in a "blunt, honest dialogue" with the protest leaders, adding, "But in the end, you know, they asked, could they pray for me?"

Mr. McCarney said he was startled when the governor mentioned the prayer because he had asked protest leaders to refrain from speaking to the media about the meeting.

"He asked us not to talk to the media, then he turns around and talks to the media," said Mr. McCarney. "We're going to make a big deal out of this because we don't feel he was honest with us."

He said more than 400 people attended the grassroots protest against the governor's signing last week of three gun-control bills. The rally started outside and then moved into the university's student center, where protesters chanted, "Recall Hickenlooper!"

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