Historic recall of 2 Colorado Senators does not reverse the gun legislation they helped pass

Senator-elect to sponsor bill to repeal gun law

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The historic recall of two Colorado Senators does not affect the gun laws that caused the recall to be pursued in the first place.

Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Senator Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, are the first two state office holders to be recalled in state history.

Morse will be replaced by Senator-elect Bernie Herpin R-Colorado Springs and Giron will be replaced by Senator-elect George Rivera, R-Pueblo.

They voted in favor of multiple gun bills passed by both the Senate and the House last year. Those bills were then signed by Governor John Hickenlooper.

Those laws include:

-Banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds

-Background checks for all gun sales

-Fee on all background checks

-Requiring training for concealed carry permits to be done in person

-Requiring domestic violence suspects to relinquish their firearms

The ouster of Morse and Giron does not change Colorado gun law.

"Are you going to sponsor a bill to revoke the ban on magazines 15 rounds or greater?" 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger asked Herpin.

"That will certainly be on my agenda and, yes, I would like to be the sponsor of my bill," said Herpin.

Herpin helped start the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition 20 years ago. The group is a southern Colorado gun rights organization.

7NEWS asked if it would be a disservice to voters if he failed to sponsor a bill trying to repeal the gun legislation passed this year.

"I wouldn't say a disservice, but I will work to restore our rights," said Herpin.

The bill to ban magazines that hold more than 15 rounds passed 18-17. If everyone voted the same this year, with the subtraction of Morse and Giron and the addition of Herpin and Rivera, the ban would have failed.

Had Herpin and Rivera been in office this year, the bill requiring background checks on all firearms sales and the fee on background checks would have also failed.

Even if Herpin or any other Senator were successful in getting the entire Senate to pass a bill repealing any of the gun laws, they would still have an uphill battle.

"The Democrats will still be the majority in both houses and the governorship," said Herpin.

7NEWS also asked Herpin if he is concerned about the precedent of this recall, since Morse and Giron were essentially kicked out of office for their votes on one issue.

"Was the use of this recall the way recalls are supposed to be used?" asked Zelinger.

"Yes. If somebody wants to recall a legislator based on a particular issue or a particular bill, that's a lot of work, but it is a remedy," said Herpin. "I serve at the pleasure of the citizens. If I'm not doing the job they put me in there to do, if enough of them believe that, well that's certainly a remedy."

He also took exception with out-of-state money funding some of the fight to keep Morse and Giron in office. 7NEWS asked about the money the National Rifle Association spent to support the recall effort.

"There's about 10,000 NRA members who live in this region. They were spending our money, and I'm an NRA member; they were spending our money to protect our rights," said Herpin. "I don't consider it out-of-state money. It was NRA member's money and we have NRA members."

The Secretary of State still must certify the election. Once it's official, Herpin and Rivera will go to the Capitol and be sworn-in by the Chief Justice Michael Bender.

Once they're sworn-in, 7NEWS has confirmed the new Senate President, at least temporarily, will be current Senate Pro Tempore Lucia Guzman, D-Denver. The Senate Democratic caucus will meet later this year to vote on new leadership.

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