Truth Check: Mike Johnston’s real role in the 2013 gun debate

DENVER — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials for Governor. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates are actually telling the truth. You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here.

You can read our criteria and standards here.

Previously, the Truth Check team evaluated Democratic Candidate Mike Johnston and his claim that he "took on the NRA" while serving in the State Senate. 

Because that claim has resurfaced on multiple occasions in the state, the Truth Check team has decided to re-examine his role passing gun control in 2013.

CLAIM #1 

Johnston took on the NRA in 2013 and passed gun control measures 

Exact quote #1: "When we fought on background checks and fought on magazine limits"

Exact quote #2 "Took on the NRA to pass tougher gun laws"

Verdict: TRUE

Reason: Johnston did vote in favor of passing gun background checks and magazine limits in 2013. However more context is needed in examining how he "took on" the NRA.

CONTEXT: Johnston was not the prime sponsor of a bill to require background checks and magazine limits. He was a sponsor for the gun background checks. 

However, research by the Truth Check team in the Capitol Archives shows Johnston added his name as a sponsor of the background checks after it passed third reading and became clear it would become law. 

During the bill signing ceremony, Johnston was not one of the lawmakers standing behind the governor. 

HOWEVER -- FOX31's own political team in 2013 highlighted Johnston's role on the Senate floor - referring to Johnston as the "best orator" on the floor during the debate in our coverage. 

The latest advertisement for Johnston has been prepared by a PAC backing him called "Frontier Fairness." Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is helping fund the PAC. 

 

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