- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DENVER— More than a year after pushing through through some of the toughest gun control measures in the country, Colorado Democrats are finding it harder than ever to get the state’s residents to get behind them.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday found that the strict new gun-control laws are losing support among voters.

The survey found that only 39 percent of Colorado voters favor the state’s hotly debated 2013 package of gun control measures, down from 43 percent support in Quinnipiac’s Feb. 5 poll.

At the same time, opposition to the gun control laws is rising. The poll found that 56 percent of Colorado voters oppose the firearms laws, up from 52 percent in the Feb. 5 survey.

The passage of three gun bills by the Democratic-controlled state legislature in March 2013 touched off a historic recall election, which resulted in two state Senate Democrats losing their seats in September.

The poll also found that voters support by a 50 percent to 45 percent margin allowing teachers and school officials to carry firearms on school grounds, and back metal detectors at school entrances by an overwhelming 74 percent to 20 percent margin.

“In large numbers, Colorado voters want metal detectors in the doorways of schools, and half of voters want teachers and school officials armed in the interest of keeping kids safe,” said Quinnipiac Poll assistant director Tim Malloy in a statement.

The three gun laws restricted ammunition-magazine capacity to 15 rounds; mandated background checks on all firearms purchases and transfers, including private transfers; and required gun buyers to pay for their own background checks.

The poll found that voters oppose the magazine limit by a margin of 51 percent to 45 percent points, but favor background checks for all gun buyers by a margin of 85 percent to 14 percent.

Colorado Democrats pushed the gun measures in reaction to two mass shootings in 2012, including a massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 dead and scores wounded.

Republicans argued that the measures would have done nothing to prevent the shootings and were pushed by out-of-state gun-control advocates like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The three bills, signed by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, passed with no Republican votes.

Republican state Sen. Greg Brophy, a strong advocate of gun rights, said opposition to the anti-gun laws is growing even as the initial reaction to the Aurora shooting has faded.

“A majority of people oppose this no matter, but once the emotion is gone, even more people are opposed to it,” said Mr. Brophy. “Once they reflect longer on these things, they like these gun control proposals less and less.”

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,298 registered voters from April 15-21, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.


• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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