Opinions shift about gun legislation in Colorado

Posted on: 8:58 pm, January 20, 2013, by , updated on: 12:43pm, January 21, 2013

By: Hendrik Sybrandy, FOX31 Denver News

DENVER — A new Denver Post poll shows some shifting opinions among Coloradans when it comes to gun control.

More people are interested in controlling gun ownership compared with a similar survey back in September.

“Clearly, the Newton massacre changed many people’s views,” Eileen McCarron of Colorado Ceasefire said. “I feel like in retrospect looking back, that the earth shifted under our feet.”

In the September poll, 56 percent of respondents thought it was more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership. Thirty-nine percent said the opposite.

That margin is now 50 percent in favor of the right to own guns versus 45 percent favoring gun control.

Thirty-five percent of Coloradans now believe passing stricter gun control laws is the best way to reduce gun violence in this country, up from 27 percent in September.

“I think the people of Colorado understand these are common sense, reasonable modest proposals,” McCarron said in reference to background checks for all gun sales, and limiting the amount of ammunition each weapon can hold.

“I don’t believe Americans will tolerate legislators who do nothing on this issue,” she said.

One elk hunter interviewed at this weekend’s Sportsmen’s Expo said he thought more vocal gun control advocates had contributed to the recent shift in opinions.

“I don’t know that there’s a big change necessarily,” said Chad Jacobsen, who runs elk101.com and Extreme Elk magazine. “I think you might be hearing more people speaking out about it.”

Jacobsen said outdoorsmen tend to be a passive group when it comes to politics, but that the recent gun debate and the possibility of increased gun control has made them more energized.

“When their rights start getting trampled on and they start getting backed against the wall, they come out of the woodwork,” Jacobsen said.