A national firearms industry trade group is taking incumbent Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper to task for promoting gun control legislation that forced manufacturers from the state.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has produced a minute-long ad against Democrat Hickenlooper who backed a series of laws passed while using post-Newtown political capital in the Centennial State.
This controversial package of laws expanded background checks to include private gun sales and a cap on magazine capacity size. These laws, passed by the state legislature and signed by Hickenlooper over the protests of gun rights groups, resulted in Colorado-based Magpul seeking a more politically accepting location for its business. Likewise, a number of state lawmakers influential in the push to pass the legislation lost their seats in a historic recall election.
All of this is recounted by the NSSF in their ad aimed at Hickenlooper.
“I can confirm that NSSF’s #GUNVOTE initiative is going forward with a targeted Colorado cable TV buy focused on Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, Durango, and other regions,” Michael Bazinet, NSSF director of public affairs told Guns.com.
Bazinet explained that they are just pointing out what they have observed about the state’s chief executive over the past several months.
“With Governor John Hickenlooper we see a profile in political fecklessness. He has dissembled and contradicted himself. In front of an audience that knew better, Colorado’s sheriffs, he could not defend what he championed and then signed into law,” said Bazinet.
This is not the only gubernatorial race where the trade group is getting involved. In Connecticut, long-time home to NSSF’s headquarters, the organization is buying airtime for an ad against Gov. Dannel Malloy, who, like Hickenlooper has championed a series of draconian gun laws before seeking re-election.
In Colorado, however, the NSSF is banking on a precedent of popular dissatisfaction with anti-gun politicians.
“The voters of Colorado have already spoken in the successful 2013 recall elections of two reflexively anti-gun state senators,” said Bazinet. “A third resigned when it became clear the same thing would happen to her. We’re asking Colorado gun owners and all those who appreciate our Constitutional liberties to take a look at John Hickenlooper’s words and deeds and then ask themselves if Colorado needs to move in a new direction.”
It’s not just the NSSF that is taking to the air against Hickenlooper.
This week the Republican Governors Association dropped $2 million in an ad buy featuring Dennis O’Connor, whose 17-year-old daughter was killed in a pizzeria by disgruntled employee Nathan Dunlap. Hickenlooper has suggested that he would grant clemency to Dunlap, now on death row, should the governor lose his re-election battle.
Groups funding ads focused on Hickenlooper opponents include Making Colorado Great, who according to the Colorado Statesman is funded by the Democratic Governors Association and a number of labor unions.