Tom supports new Colorado gun laws and meets President Obama during April 2013 visit
In response to Colorado’s success in passing gun safety laws, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder came to Denver on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 to congratulate the state and use the event to encourage Congress to do the same.
The President participated in a roundtable discussion of gun safety laws with eighteen elected officials, gun violence victims, law enforcement officials and representatives of hunting organizations. I was honored to be selected to attend the roundtable.
President Obama listening to panel input. Tom is immediately to the left of the man standing near the door.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spent 45 minutes with us, then President Obama joined us for another 45 minutes, before he addressed a crowd of law enforcement officers and people who played a role in supporting and passing the gun safety bills.
Tom meeting President Obama after the end of the panel discussion.
I got to personally meet and speak with the President before and after the roundtable discussion. It was very gratifying that he knew who I was and that he spoke of my gun safety efforts during his presentation.
We were successful in passing a number of significant gun safety laws. One requires a background check prior to nearly every gun purchase in Colorado. This way a criminal can't bypass a background check by purchasing a gun, for example, over the internet. This is important, because nearly 40% of gun sales are so-called private sales that don't require a background check.
Another new law prohibits the sale or transfer of magazines with over 15 bullets. It allows existing magazines over 15 rounds to stay with their current owner. This law is important because it makes it more difficult to mow people down quickly. (In the Tucson massacre, the killer was stopped while he was switching to a new 30-round magazine.
Finally, another law made it mandatory for those under a domestic violence restraining order to surrender their gun. It was already illegal for them to have one but seldom was there any action to enforce the requirement.
I was active in testifying on behalf of these bills, as were many other people at the grassroots level. I was honored to be asked by Governor Hickenlooper to join with a few others to attend his signing of the gun safety bills. Sadly, the day was marred by the gunning down of the State's director of the Dept. of Correction at his home.
Governor John Hickenlooper signing one of the gun safety bills. Tom is fourth from left, wearing a red tie.
Unfortunately, the gun lobby has retaliated, successfully recalling two state senators who were active in promoting the gun safety bills--one in Colorado Springs and one in Pueblo. They weren't guilty of corruption or malfeasance; no, they were punished because they stood up for stronger gun laws.
When they were removed from office the Democratic majority in the State Senate dropped to just one vote, 18-17. And now with such a thin lead, the sharks are circling: petitions are now being circulated to recall another Democratic senator, in the northern sububs of Denver.It's no way to run an election process--but when the gun lobby gets involved...