Aurora's Steve Hogan: Why didn't he join anti-illegal gun mayors group after theater shooting?
Steve Hogan, mayor of Aurora, the city where Century 16 shooting suspect James Holmes allegedly killed twelve people and injured dozens more, is not joining a nationwide coalition of mayors that supports stricter gun laws. In response, the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, argues that Hogan should join fellow city leaders to address an issue that crosses state lines.
Hogan's decision not to support Mayors Against Illegal Guns was first reported by the Denver Post, which wrote:
Hogan, a Republican, said Thursday that gun issues are an emotional topic in Aurora, considering the aftermath of the July 20 mass shooting at a movie theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded -- though the shooting suspect did not possess any illegal weapons.
But the mayor said he has ideological issues with the group.
"I've heard of the coalition, but to me this is not a national issue," Hogan said. "Gun control is handled at the state level."
|Families of the Aurora victims together for their first joint public appearance back in August.|
My comment concerning Mayors Against Illegal Guns has to do with the relative worth of signing up for a committee versus getting illegal guns off the street. I have great respect for the mayors who have signed up with the group, but none of them are the mayor of Aurora, or have an impact in Aurora. Like all of them, I am opposed to illegal guns in Aurora. I have done, and will continue to do, what is necessary to get them off the streets.While that statement veers away from his original comments, his spokeswoman says Hogan stands by his quotes in the Post and believes gun control is an issue that should be addressed at a state level.
There have been a lot of debates in recent months around access to guns in Colorado, sparked in part by the the Aurora theater shooting, in which Holmes allegedly purchased one AR-15 assault rifle, one Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and two 40-caliber Glock handguns. He also had around 3,000 rounds of ammunition for his assault rifle, 3,000 rounds for the handguns and 300 rounds for the shotgun.
Local legislators and advocates have since proposed a range of policy changes, including a reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons, limits on online ammunition sales and the closure of loopholes in the way that mental health records are considered in background checks.
Today, Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- a bipartisan group of city mayors promoting tougher federal, state, and local gun regulation -- held a conference call with reporters to announce a poll that, in the group's view, shows that the National Rifle Association was not effective at swaying voters in the swing states of Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina. The poll, on view below, says that despite significant NRA spending, voters in these states generally support gun law reforms and want to see the president prioritize the issue.
On the call, we asked Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, what he thought of Hogan's comments against the coalition, which includes more than 700 mayors from across the country -- and thirteen from Colorado.
"We respect the mayor's view...but we happen to believe it is incorrect," he said.
Continue for more response from Mayors Against Illegal Guns and for the full poll released today.