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Are anti-gun governors trying to distance themselves from new laws?

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Are anti-gun Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and John Hickenlooper scrambling to distance themselves from new gun laws both signed in their respective states last year, with the Coloradoan quoted by Thursday’s Daily Caller insisting that he only signed the magazine ban because someone on his staff allegedly promised that he would?

This comes three months after an unidentified Cuomo staffer reportedly tried to convince the New York Post that his boss didn’t realize that magazine capacity limits in the SAFE Act applied to handguns in addition to so-called “assault rifles.” Additionally, that source told the newspaper that “much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff.”

Gun rights activists in both states are holding their noses, saying none of this passes the smell test. In Hickenlooper’s case, admitting that, “I think we screwed that up” doesn’t say much for his exercise of due diligence. On Wednesday he apologized to county sheriffs telling them, according to a local CBS affiliate in Denver, that if he’d had more information he might not have signed the extremist measures.

But last year, the Centennial State governor was all in to ban full-capacity magazines, and if he thinks people have forgotten, he may be as dumb as he hopes voters are. Fox News quoted him last year at the signing ceremony when he said such magazines “have the potential to turn killers into killing machines.

“He also said he realized some gun owners may be inconvenienced,” the story said, “but that ‘the potential for damage seems to outweight, significantly, the inconvenience that people would have’.” Would this have anything at all to do with Hickenlooper’s run for re-election this fall?

Ditto for Cuomo, described six months ago by Capital New York as “running against himself” this year. Trying to put some distance between himself and his own gun law by allowing some subordinate claim he didn’t understand what was in it seems tantamount to admitting incompetence.

Either way, neither of these Democrat anti-gun governors is likely to get a single vote from any constituent who values his or her Second Amendment rights. Hickenlooper might also write off the sheriffs.

Perhaps both men ought to step down right now. If they’re as inept on other matters as they appear to have been on pushing extremist gun legislation, there could be a legitimate argument that neither is fit to lead.

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