Colorado Recall Elections Chill Push For New Gun Laws

Source: Rick Klein / ABC News

After Newtown, Aurora and Tucson, gun-control advocates saw their best chance in a generation to tighten the nation’s gun laws. That’s how the argument went, at least.

But election results Tuesday in Colorado may serve as stark reminders of the continued power of the gun lobby. Two Democratic state senators lost their jobs because of new gun laws they helped pass, in races that played out as testing grounds for national messaging on both sides of the debate.

In a state that’s trending Democratic and has seen terrible gun violence firsthand, money flowed in on both sides over the seats of two obscure state lawmakers. The results directly undermine hopes that new gun restrictions can be political winners, and are likely to further sap what momentum was left for tighter federal gun laws at the congressional level.

“Obviously, this is not going to be helpful,” said Matt Bennett, a vice president at the centrist Democratic group Third Way, which has been working closely with the White House and key senators on federal gun-control efforts. “The NRA picked their spots carefully, and they went after them hard. There’s always setbacks in the gun debate — always.”

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