DENVER – Ratcheting up pressure for Congress to limit access to guns, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that recent steps by Colorado to tighten its gun laws show “there doesn’t have to be a conflict” between keeping citizens safe and protecting Second Amendment rights to gun ownership.
“I believe there doesn’t have to be a conflict in reconciling these realities,” Obama said in Denver, where he stepped up his call for background checks for all gun purchases and renewed his demand that Congress at least vote on banning assault weapons and limiting access to large-capacity ammunition magazines.
In danger of losing congressional momentum on the issue, Obama went to Colorado – which has a deep-rooted hunting tradition and where gun ownership is a cherished right – to use its example and public pressure to prod Congress to act.
Colorado recently expanded background checks for gun purchases and placed restrictions on ammunition magazines. Prospects for passage of similar measures by Congress appear bleak, largely because of concerns by Republicans and moderate Democrats who come down more on the side of gun rights.
Obama said there is a middle ground.
“Colorado has shown that practical progress is possible,” he said.