Second Amendment fans in Colorado have launched a campaign to recall Democratic state Rep. Tom Sullivan over his commitment to gun safety legislation, according to the Denver Post.
Gun rights groups in the state have successfully managed the employ this technique in the past. In 2013, they recalled two state senators who didn’t support their anti-gun control agenda. But this time, gun activists are facing steep opposition, according to the Post.
Sullivan, who represents a suburban Denver district, has received aid from the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and an organization run by former Rep. Gabby Giffords. The organizations have donated a combined $110,000 to fight the recall. Sullivan is also backed by the Colorado organization Moms Demand Action.
“Voters knew exactly who they were electing when they sent Representative Sullivan to the general assembly,” Everytown President John Feinblatt said in a statement. “We are proud to stand with Representative Sullivan in the face of this cynical effort to undermine the will of the people.”
“Sullivan has already made a difference at the state capitol and that has his opponents resorting to desperate tactics,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler said in a statement. “We are standing with Rep. Sullivan in this fight to make sure that the demands from the majority of Colorado voters for gun reform will not be silenced.”
In order for the recall to be successful, pro-gun groups will have to gather and submit 10,035 signatures by July 12th. The recall campaign, led in part by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, seemingly hasn’t raised any money. However, the campaign does seem to be paying people to collect signatures outside of Denver grocery stores.
“We’re not confident,” RMGO Executive Director Dudley Brown told the Post. “It’s been tough work.”
Sullivan has a personal connection to American gun violence. His son was killed in the Aurora, CO movie theater mass shooting shooting in 2012. Sullivan ran on a campaign of protecting Coloradans from gun violence. He has sponsored state legislation like a “red flag” bill, which will allow the state to temporarily remove guns from people who are deemed to pose an extreme threat to themselves or others. The law will go into effect in January 2020.
The new law has been deeply unpopular in many Colorado counties, where voters have passed measures allowing local sheriffs to ignore it.
In April, many schools across Colorado took precautions and closed temporarily around the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting. A few weeks later, a mass shooting at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, CO, killed one student and injured eight.