Fact Check: Hickenlooper Says He ‘Beat the NRA’ While Colorado Gov.

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper speaks during a presidential candidates forum sponsored by AARP and The Des Moines Register, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

During his opening comments at the July 30th Democrat debate, John Hickenlooper claimed he defeated the NRA while Governor of Colorado.

Within months of the December 14, 2012, attack on gun-free Sandy Hook Elementary, Hickenlooper signaled that he would sign universal background checks and a “high-capacity” magazine ban. Both aspects of gun control were sold by Democrats as a way to prevent a Sandy Hook-style attack in Colorado.

On March 21, 2013, the Guardian reported that Hickenlooper signed the gun controls, and not a single Republican voted for the measures.

Now, Hickenlooper stands on the Democrat debate stage saying, “We beat the NRA.”

Hickenlooper’s claim may be perceived as making it seem like Colorado Democrats secured gun controls in early 2013 that have prevented any attacks in the years since. However, a fact check shows that Colorado has seen extremely violent firearm-based attacks since the gun controls were put in place.

Here are a few of those attacks:

  • On December 13, 2013, a gunman entered Denver’s Arapahoe High School, shooting and killing one innocent. His attack was cut short by an armed school security officer, which is a school security approach supported by the NRA.
  • On Halloween 2015, a gunman opened fire on the streets of Colorado Springs, killing three innocents.
  • On November 27, 2015, a gunman opened fire outside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing two civilians and a police officer.
  • On December 31, 2017, a gunman ambushed and killed Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish. CNN reports that four other law enforcement officers were also shot in the ambush but survived.
  • May 7, 2019, a gunman opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch, killing an 18-year-old student.

The NRA warned that neither universal background checks nor banning “high-capacity” magazines would hinder criminals. The firearm-based attacks that have occurred in Colorado since the gun controls were signed prove the value of the NRA’s warning.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


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