News Column

Town Hall Turns Toward Guns

Feb 11, 2013

Anthony A. Mestas

As talk of stricter gun control continues to stir up unease across the country, the controversial issue crept into the conversation Saturday during a town hall meeting with four Southern Colorado legislators.

About 70 citizens, several of which were gun enthusiasts, filled a meeting room at the Pueblo West Library for a bipartisan town hall focusing on the legislative session, sponsored by the Pueblo West Chamber of Commerce.

State Reps. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Clarice Navarro, RPueblo, and State Sens. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, and Larry Crowder, RAlamosa, participated in the event.

When the opportunity for constituents to share their ideas came up, the meeting quickly turned to gun laws and Second Amendment rights.

Some constituents grilled the legislators on Colorado House Bill 1224, which would ban the sale, transfer or possession of a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Giron, who did not take an official stance on gun control laws, said she is in the process of familiarizing herself

with concerns her constituents have on the issue.

Giron said she will not base her decisions on recent or past gun tragedies that have happened in Colorado and across the country.

"Getting emotionally involved in that doesn't help us to make legislation that is good for our state," Giron said. "I want to look at things that are about our culture in Colorado."

Victor Head, an audience member from Pueblo, said he was there to ask Giron to take a position on the gun issues.

"We are trying to get them (legislators) to oppose it . . . I understand that they have tons of bills coming out, but this is a hot issue," Head said.

Garcia said he is not in favor of HB 1224.

"At some point these (bills) are all going to cross our desks and the purpose of being here today is to hear how this would impact you. We want to hear how each of these stories play out because we have some important decisions to make," Garcia said.

Navarro and Crowder openly stated their opposition to the proposed laws.

"I love the fact that I can carry my handgun and protect myself or my family or someone around me, and I will continue to fight to have my rights as a gun holder," Navarro said.

"My stance is extremely simple, it's called the Second Amendment. Those rights shall not be infringed. End of story," Crowder said.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)

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