DENVER — President Barack Obama’s stop here Wednesday afternoon will include forum with law enforcement officials and community leaders at the Denver Police Academy, FOX31 Denver can now report.
Obama will join Gov. John Hickenlooper, state lawmakers and representatives from law enforcement at the event, which is aimed at putting more pressure on Congress to follow Colorado’s lead and move forward on gun control legislation.
Last month, Hickenlooper signed into law three Democratic-sponsored bills, including mandatory universal background checks on all gun purchases and transfers and a ban on high-capacity magazines of 15 rounds or more.
The landmark legislation has made Colorado, a state with a deep western heritage that’s also endured two horrific mass shootings, a symbolic vanguard for the country; but the legislative process at the Capitol has also exposed just how contentious and politically risky the issue can be.
During the two-month debate on a package of gun control bills, two of which are still awaiting debate by the state House, lawmakers received death threats from a few people who opposed the laws; more importantly, a magazine manufacturer, Magpul, and its suppliers are now in the process of moving operations to another state, and many hunters and competitive shooters have threatened to boycott the state.
Republicans have argued that Hickenlooper and other Colorado Democrats have become pawns of outside forces from the White House — Vice President Joe Biden called several state lawmakers to thank them during the debate — to New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has spent millions in a nationwide push to pass gun control legislation.
Last week at the White House, the president attempted to rally flagging support for gun control legislation after critics had charged that his administration has already waited too long to act.
There will be traffic delays and street closures during the President’s visit to Denver Wednesday.
Central Park Blvd. between Montview Blvd. and E. 21st Ave. will beclosed as well as Akron St. from Central Park Blvd. to E. 22nd Ave.
Specific times for the closures haven’t been released due to security reasons.
The speech is supposed to take place at 3 p.m. at the Denver Police Academy. You can watch live streaming coverage here: http://kdvr.com/on-air/live-streaming/