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Poll: CO voters oppose both gun control laws, recall efforts

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DENVER — A poll of Colorado voters finds that while many in the state disagree with new gun control laws passed by the state legislature earlier this year, voters feel efforts to recall politicians who voted in favor of the laws are unnecessary.

The Quinnipiac University poll found 54 percent of voters said overall they oppose stricter new gun control laws. Thirty-one percent agree with the laws, with a large partisan split.

Democrats support the new laws by 78 percent while Republicans oppose it by 89 percent.

Women were divided on the subject with 48 percent saying they support the laws and 45 saying they oppose them.

Certain gun control laws were more popular than others. The poll found voters support by 82 percent universal background checks for gun buyers, but were divided (49 to 48) on a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Ironically while voters oppose the new laws, they also disagree with efforts to recall two state legislators who voted in favor of the laws.

Voters said 54 to 35 percent that State Senate President John Morse should not be removed from office. Sixty percent of the respondents said that instead of a recall, when people don’t agree with a legislator, they should wait for reelection.

“With wide partisan and gender divisions, 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. They’d rather deal with it every four years.”

Background checks and a limit on magazines could not have prevented the Columbine or Aurora mass killings, voters said by a margin of 68 to 25 percent, and could not have reduced the number of people killed in those shootings, voters said by 56 to 40 percent.

The poll also asked voters about recreational marijuana use. Half of Colorado voters (51 percent) said they have tried marijuana at one time, but only 15 percent said they would smoke marijuana after recreational sale becomes legal in January.

Amendment 64 continued to be popular among voters with 54 percent saying they support the new law legalizing marijuana. Support jumped to 73 percent among Democrats and 74 percent among voters aged 18 to 29.

Older voters (56 percent) and Republicans (63 percent) said they opposed marijuana legalization.

“There are partisan differences but no gender gap as Colorado voters support legalization of marijuana. Many voters admit they’ve tried pot, but don’t expect a Rocky Mountain high once marijuana becomes legal,” Malloy said.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 15-21 and surveyed 1,184 registered voters over land line and cell phones. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.