Pro-gun activists in Colorado have turned in twice the number of signatures necessary to trigger a recall vote for Democratic state Senate President John Morse. According to the Associated Press, Morse has angered the gun rights community by advocating some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
“This shot will be heard around the world,” said Bill Adaska, a resident of Morse’s Colorado Springs district to the AP. “This is the race, right here, that’s going to show Washington and Chicago that when you come after our guns, we’re going to take you out.”
According to KVDR, activists were able to obtain more than 16,000 signatures on the recall petition. That number is more than double the 7,178 required to put a recall election in motion.
Morse, say opponents, was instrumental in helping Colorado pass some of the most stringent gun safety laws outside of the east coast, including the expansion of background checks to cover guns shows and online sales and 15-round limit on the size of ammunition clips.
The Democratic legislator backed an even stricter law that would make gun owners liable in some cases for damage caused by their weapons. The latter measure was never ratified.
In the face of the recall, Morse is standing firm, saying that pro-gun groups across the country are hoping to see him fall as a way of intimidating other lawmakers against standing up to gun manufacturers, lobbyists and activists.
“This turns into a national race,” he said. He also said that even if he is driven from office, after the year of national gun massacres, including the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, it will have been worth it to stand up for what he believes is right.
“Keeping Coloradans safe from gun violence is very worth your political career,” Morse said to reporters.
While the National Rifle Association has sent out fundraising appeals naming Morse as an enemy of gun freedom, local activists claim their movement is home grown.
“I ran this campaign. The NRA did not run this campaign,” recall organizer Rob Harris said to the AP. “We the people are making a stand against the people who refused to represent their constituents.”
Morse would be the first Colorado elected official to face a recall vote. From this point, the Colorado Secretary or State has 15 days to verify signatures on the recall petitions. Then Morse has a period to challenge the signatures before a recall election is set. The latest the recall election could occur would be October.
Gun rights advocates are also targeting Democratic Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo, Colorado. Signatures are due next week for that recall effort.
If Morse is recalled and replaced by a Republican, Democrats will lose control of the state senate. Nonetheless, he said the he believes in what he’s doing.
Speaking of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Aurora shooting, Morse said, “We had 20 6-year-olds shot in the face, and we have the other side arguing we should do nothing, and I’m sorry, that doesn’t cut it.”
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[image of state Sen. John Morse via Wikipedia]