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Poll: State voters oppose recalls over gun laws

DENVER – Most Colorado voters oppose recall efforts against two Democratic legislators who supported stricter gun laws, but a majority of voters disagree with the new legislation and don’t believe tougher restrictions would have prevented mass shootings, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University poll showed that 54 percent of voters don’t think Senate President John Morse should be recalled, and 52 percent oppose the recall of Sen. Angela Giron. But the poll is statewide, not specific to their districts – Colorado Springs for Morse and Pueblo for Giron.

Colorado Democrats this session passed a package of new gun laws without Republican support, including limits for ammunition magazines and an expansion of background checks to include private and online firearm sales. The laws were a response to mass shootings last year.

An effort to recall state Rep. Mike McLachlan, who represents Colorado House District 59, which includes Durango, failed when gun-rights supporters could not provide enough signatures to force a special recall election.

Recall efforts began after McLachlan voted for a series of gun bills by fellow Democrats. He sponsored an amendment on a bill to increase the limit for ammunition magazines to 15 rounds from the 10 rounds many in his party supported.

By a margin of 54-40, Colorado voters opposed the new laws. However, registered Democrats were more supportive of the legislation than Republicans, the poll found. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats participating in the poll support the gun laws, while 89 percent of Republicans oppose them.

“Colorado voters oppose the state’s stricter new gun-control laws, but they don’t want to recall State Senate President John Morse or Sen. Angela Giron because they supported these laws,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Philosophically, voters don’t want a recall election every time they disagree with a legislator.”

Most voters polled, 60 percent, said people should wait for regular elections to decide whether to retain a lawmaker they disagree with, instead of conducting a recall.

The poll of 1,184 registered voters was taken Aug. 15 through Wednesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The poll was conducted with live interviews by cellphones and landlines.

Voters were more supportive of the expansion of background checks, with 82 percent saying they were in favor. But the magazine limit was divisive, with 49 percent in support and 48 in opposition. Also, 53 percent of voters thought the new gun laws went too far.

Additionally, 68 percent of voters say they don’t think more background checks or magazine restrictions could have prevented the mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and the Aurora movie theater shootings last summer.

The recall elections are set for Sept. 10.

On the net

The Quinnipiac University poll: http://goo.gl/3vRtlt

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