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Gun lobbyist says gun deaths of Black children should count separately

The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners lobbyist said there was no racial intent behind the statement, but it didn't come off that way.

DENVER — At a hearing this week, legislative Democrats supporting gun control noted that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children.

In refuting those statistics, Kevin LoRusso, a lobbyist with Colorado's most-prominent gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said guns are the leading cause of death for American children only if you include the Black children killed.

"If you remove black males in that age group from that, it is not true, and that is a symptom of a different issue, the issue that is causing young black males to be killed in their homes, on their street is a very different issue,” he said.

LoRusso stood by his statement over the phone.

He described Black children being killed as "gangland violence" and a separate issue from gun deaths among other children of other races.

"There was no racial intent behind it," LoRusso told 9NEWS. "I can understand how it can be taken out of context." After a lengthy defense of his remarks, LoRusso acknowledged his comments "came off horrible."

LoRusso said he "would like to have the opportunity to apologize." When asked to elaborate, LoRusso said, "If someone is offended, they can reach out to me."

The comments were made during testimony on two Republican-sponsored gun rights bills that did not get out of committee this week.

RMGO is currently suing various cities and counties in Colorado on 2nd Amendment ground for trying to pass gun violence legislation. Among those are the city of Boulder, the Town of Superior, the Town of Louisville and Boulder County. As Broomfield considers legislation, RMGO announced it would prepare to sue the city once the ordinances are passed.

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