Since Colorado passed a post-Sandy Hook package of laws to improve gun safety, gun rights advocates have successfully pushed out two Democratic senators through recall elections. But that wasn’t enough. With a National Rifle Association-backed recall campaign continuing against a third, State Sen. Evie Hudak announced Wednesday she would resign instead. Had Hudak been recalled, her seat could have flipped Republican and Democrats would lose control of the Senate.
In her resignation letter, Hudak explained that her resigning will protect the important new gun-safety laws:
Most Coloradans believe that going through a background check is a reasonable thing to do if it means we can keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals. Most Coloradans believe that the convenience of high-capacity ammunition magazines is less important than saving lives in tragedies like Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Columbine. Most Coloradans believe that people under restraining orders for domestic abuse should not be able to endanger those around them by keeping their guns. That’s why I sponsored SB 13-197, a bill that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and will save the lives of many women caught in abusive relationships.
The passage of Colorado’s gun package was a major achievement after years of stalled efforts to respond to other mass shootings in the state. It includes a ban on high-capacity magazines and universal background checks. And while recalling enough state legislators is intended to both intimidate and erode the democratic majority that secured passage, the gun measures have thus far survived these efforts.
In June, as recall efforts built against former Colorado Senate President John Morse, he refused to change his rhetoric, saying, “Keeping Coloradans safe from gun violence is very worth your political career.”