DENVER-In an exclusive interview with 9NEWS Monday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said that he is not concerned over claims that his support of several gun control bills will put his re-election hopes in jeopardy.
"No I don't think so. I really don't think so," Hickenlooper said. "I have talked to many, literally like over a hundred people. Almost everyone says, 'yeah, as long as there's no centralized database. As long as you're not taking weapons away from us, but you're just making sure that when we sell a weapon it doesn't go to someone with a violent criminal history or severe mental illness, yeah that makes sense.'"
A constant drone of honking car horns could be heard from inside the governor's office, part of a demonstration against the gun control measures. A hired airplane flew over the Capital for hours towing a banner that read, "HICK: DO NOT TAKE OUR GUNS."
"There's a plane flying around that's saying, 'Hick, don't take our guns.' Well, here's the answer: we're not taking any guns," said the governor.
While nobody would have to give up a gun they currently own under the proposals, the protestors still see them as overly restrictive of the second amendment.
For all of their fervor, Hickenlooper sees the demonstrators a small minority.
"Not only do they not represent the middle, I don't think they represent the Republican party. I don't think they represent a large number of people," Gov. Hickenlooper said.
When asked, the governor did not name any proposal in a Democratic package of gun bills that he opposes, but pointed out that several of the bills have been modified to address concerns from critics.
Earlier this year, the governor said he'd sign a limit on magazines, then signaled that his decision on HB 1224 wasn't final.
In our interview, Hickenlooper indicated he still plans to sign the measure into law.
"Once you say you're going to sign something, you're going to sign something," Hickenlooper said. "I've never wavered. I said we're always re-thinking it."
The governor says he took some pause when Colorado company Magpul said it would leave the state if the bill becomes law, despite an exception for manufacturers.
Ultimately, the decision will be up to the company, but Hickenlooper says he's trying to win Magpul more government business through his Washington connections.
The governor opted not to weigh in on Senate President John Morse's gun liability bill.
"It's so hypothetical that it doesn't do me well until we see what it actually looks like," Hickenlooper said.
Watch the entire interview here. After a lengthy discussion on guns, the governor also answers questions about marijuana, the death penalty, and fracking.
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