Colorado's Democratic-controlled legislature passed tighter gun
laws last year in the wake of the deadly shooting rampages here and
But critics slammed the move as severely restricting the
constitutional right to own and bear arms, and voters recalled two
key Democrats who approved the laws. A third resigned after also
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bloomberg, a staunch
advocate of gun control, blamed the National Rifle Association (NRA)
for the recalls.
"The NRA went after two or three state senators in a part of
Colorado where I don't think there's roads. It's as far rural as you
can get," he was quoted in a story on Rolling Stone's website.
"They lost ... I'm sorry for that. We tried to help 'em. But the
bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced."
The Colorado Republican Party called Bloomberg's comments flippant
and out-of-touch, and the two GOP senators elected as a result of
the recalls criticized him as well.
"It's shameful that Mayor Bloomberg would resort to such petty
insults," Senator Bernie Herpin of Colorado Springs, the state's
second biggest city, said on Thursday in a statement.
Not only does Colorado Springs have plenty of roads, he said, it is
home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Olympic Training Center
and Committee Headquarters, among other noteworthy facilities.
"It's disgusting the lengths he is willing to go to disparage those
who believe in protecting our Second Amendment rights," Herpin said.
'EAST COAST ELITES'
Senator George Rivera said voters in Pueblo did not appreciate being
stereotyped by "East Coast elites."
"While it might be hard for a New York billionaire to comprehend, we
do in fact have roads and running water," he said.
[to top of second column]
Colorado's gun laws were passed with scant Republican support in
response to a shooting spree in 2012 that killed 12 people at a
suburban Denver movie theater, and the slaying later that same year
of 20 children and six adults at an elementary School in Newtown,
The measures banned ammunition magazines that hold more than 15
rounds and required background checks for all private gun sales and
The curbs met with immediate resistance from opponents that included
most of the state's elected sheriffs, who sued in federal court to
try to stop their enforcement.
Last month U.S. District Chief Judge Marcia Krieger ruled the laws
The Rolling Stone article was later taken offline, but the editor
who interviewed Bloomberg tweeted that it had been published
prematurely and would be uploaded on Monday as scheduled.
The three-term mayor, who became particularly outspoken about gun
violence after Newtown, was successful in implementing smoking bans
and has pushed for measures to tackle obesity.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis; editing by Gunna
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