Last week saw heated debate in the state’s Capitol that went, in some cases, well into the night. Star national witnesses from both sides of the issue appeared to testify, including Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, shot by a Tucson gunman. At one point, a small plane flew overhead with a message for Gov. John Hickenlooper: “HICK: DO NOT TAKE OUR GUNS!”
Underscoring the importance of the Colorado outcome, Vice President Joe Biden has called some state lawmakers personally, while National Rifle Association head David Keene met privately with Governor Hickenlooper.
“There’s a lot at stake, and it’s been an incredible battle,” says Floyd Ciruli, a Colorado pollster and political analyst. “There’s a sense among the proponents [of the bills] that what comes out of Colorado may then have some influence on Washington thinking, and could definitely go into other states.”
What had grown into a package of seven bills has now shrunk to five. The bills still being considered include the following: