Hickenlooper to address gun control in annual speech
DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has invited Aurora’s mayor, police and fire chiefs to attend his third annual State of the State Address Thursday morning, an indication that he plans to address the tragic movie theater shooting and the controversial issue of gun control.
LINK: Watch the speech here
Following the mass shooting that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded, Hickenlooper tasked his staff with coming up with a new plan to improve the state’s mental health services, something that lawmakers will look to carry forward this legislative session.
But many lawmakers are also eager to tackle Colorado’s gun laws.
Last month, Hickenlooper told the media “the time was right” for a conversation about gun control.
Democratic lawmakers are proposing several bills, including expanding background checks for private gun sales, banning guns on college campuses and banning high-capacity magazines.
On Wednesday as the legislature reconvened, gun owners rallied across the street from the Capitol in opposition to such proposals and argued, echoing the NRA, that the only thing that will prevent future gun violence is more “good guys” with guns.
Also Wednesday, Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, introduced a bill that would allow teachers and school staffers to carry concealed weapons on campus.
Meanwhile, Hickenlooper Wednesday was among 15 governors who spoke by phone with Vice President Joe Biden, who’s charged with leading a task force to determine how the administration will proceed in pursuing gun control measures.
Unlike the first two years of his term when Republicans controlled the House, Hickenlooper will now work with two legislative chambers controlled by Democrats — a change that could allow him to pursue a bolder legislative agenda while challenging the self-styled moderate to prevent a deluge of Democratic legislation.
In his address, which is set for 11 a.m., Hickenlooper is also expected to talk about job creation proposals, a Medicaid expansion and a sticky set of regulations of fracking that have divided the oil and gas industry and Colorado’s environmentalists.