DENVER — Another Colorado Democrat has stoked the state’s raging gun-control debate by challenging the argument that guns are needed for self-defense.
Colorado House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst said in an interview on YouTube last week that firearms ownership is redundant because the state Legislature keeps citizens safe from harm.
“As a woman, I have the right not to carry a gun and to feel safe on the streets, and that’s what we provide for in the state Legislature is for all of us in the state of Colorado — to feel safe on the streets without having to carry a gun,” said Mrs. Hullinghorst on “The Tim Caffrey Show.”
She also took a swipe at gun owners.
“The thought that the only way we can protect ourselves is to wield our own weapon is completely absurd and an argument that I absolutely discount as frivolous,” Mrs. Hullinghorst said.
Her comments came as Democrats face a strong backlash against the Colorado Legislature’s sweeping gun-control legislation passed earlier this year. Early voting already has begun in the Sept. 10 recall elections of Democratic state Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse over their votes in March in favor of the bills.
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State Sen. Greg Brophy, a candidate for the 2014 GOP gubernatorial nomination, said Mrs. Hullinghorst’s stance “speaks volumes about the Democratic agenda on guns.”
“Unbelievably naive from a citizen. Absolutely dangerous from an elected official and leader of the Democratic Party in Colorado,” Mr. Brophy told Colorado Peak Politics.
This wasn’t the first time state Democrats have tangled with gun owners over the self-defense issue. Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak touched off an outcry in March when she told a rape victim that it was unrealistic to expect that she would have been able to fend off her attacker with a gun, saying, “Statistics are not on your side.”
“Chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you,” Mrs. Hudak said at a committee hearing.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature passed three gun bills in March without any Republican votes. Signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, the bills restrict ammunition magazine capacity to 15 rounds; mandate background checks for all gun sales, including temporary transfers; and require gun owners to pay for their background checks.