Republican challenger Joe O'Dea speaks during a televised debate with Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Colorado’s two contenders for the U.S. Senate faced off in a second debate that included Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett and Republican challenger Joe O’Dea answering questions from moderators about gun rights and gun control. The first debate didn’t address issues pertinent to the firearm and ammunition industry or Second Amendment rights. This second debate showed their contrasting policy positions.

Questions regarding firearm and gun control laws were raised about 20 minutes into the hour-long debate, starting with quick “yes-or-no” answers before the two candidates elaborated on their positions.

Both candidates agreed on supporting universal background checks for all firearm transfers, which is currently forbidden by federal law and unworkable without a national firearm registry. They also agreed that a 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases is not something that they would support. That’s where agreement ended, however.

Gun Bans

O’Dea said he would not support an age-based gun ban. Sen. Bennett said he would. When it came to a national ban on modern sporting rifles (MSRs), Sen. Bennett said he would support President Joe Biden’s demand that Congress pass legislation to ban what he terms as “assault weapons.” They are, in fact, semiautomatic rifles, which operate the same way as duck hunting shotguns and most modern pistols. They’re the most popular-selling centerfire rifle in America today, with over 24.4 million in circulation in American.

If Sen. Bennett has his way, that would be no more.

“I think we’ve made enough of these weapons of war,” he said.

O’Dea clashed with Sen. Bennett on the issue of more gun control laws.

“Look, we’ve got plenty of laws on the books. Every time we turn around and have an event, we put another law on the book [sic]. We need to enforce the laws that are on the books now,” O’Dea explained. “And I will not be lectured by Democrats that continue to say we need to change this gun law, change that gun law, when they fail to enforce the laws that we have on the books. If you’re a drug dealer and you possess a weapon, you don’t get charged with a felony here in Colorado. That’s ridiculous to me.”

O’Dea said instead of more laws, Congress and the Biden administration must do more to support law enforcement to lock up criminals that break the law. That includes putting more police in local schools to protect children. O’Dea said that is a much better investment of taxpayer dollars than the Biden administration’s plan to spend $80 billion for 87,000 new IRS agents.

More Gun Control

Sen. Bennett, instead of answering the question on more gun control laws, defended the plan to boost the ranks of the IRS.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet speaks during a debate with Republican challenger Joe O’Dea, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

When he finally pivoted back to the question of gun control, he attacked O’Dea for refusing to support federal “red flag” laws that do not include adequate or real Constitutional due process protections for the person subject such an order and blasted the NRA for not supporting the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

NSSF did not support, nor did it oppose, the bill in its entirety. NSSF supported portions of the legislation, including providing more resources to address mental health and improve school security, checking to see if a buyer had become prohibited while a juvenile, strengthening penalties for illegal “straw” purchases and illegal firearms trafficking and clarifying when someone is required to have a federal firearm licensees.

“On guns, I just want it to be very clear,” Sen. Bennett said. “Joe O’Dea said he supports no gun laws beyond what we already have as a society. He’s against the red flag law we have in Colorado and he said he would have voted against the bipartisan gun bill that is the first time in a generation that Republicans and Democrats have overcome the NRA.”

Coloradans will have the final say on Nov. 8 when they cast their ballot for who will represent them in the U.S. Senate. This vote is critical to protecting the firearm industry and the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. Voters can learn more about how to register, where to vote and how their elected officials stand on firearm-industry issues. Don’t Risk Your Rights. #GUNVOTE.

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Colorado has been pretty much irredeemable ever since the 10 round magazine ban. Despite the recall kicking several state senators out, the legislature has continued to give gun owners and the US Constitution the middle finger.
    God bless Laura Carno for all she does!

    P.S. if Joe O’Dea supports current gun laws, that’s too many. I guess better a Rino the a Democrap.

    • RE: “Colorado’s two contenders for the U.S. Senate faced off in a second debate that included Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett”

      Not so fast Larry Keane you mild mannered reporter…When it comes to party titles there is no such thing as, “Democratic.” Democratic in this case is nothing more than a sneaky play on words to obscure the Rat in democRat Party.

    • Colorado used to be a nice place…now its become a liberal haven for those who advocate for drug use while restricting self-defense for those who don’t….

      • We live in Colorado and it has become a sh*t hole. Mandatory arrest on any domestic violence complaint. UNCONSTITUIONAL. Red Flag laws. Unconstitutional. Our deputy dirt bags have all of 500 hours of training. In the past two weeks we folks that actually pay taxes have to fork over 16 million in lawsuit settlements for these untrained morons for RAPE, and 3 assault cases. Colorado has turned into a liberal/progs/dem wet dream. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

        • Lifelong Coloradoan here, and I agree, DemoKKKrats have turned the State into a Schithole. Mail-In Voting, which became standard in 2013, had assured that Republicans will never again hold a majority in the State Legislature. Denver, and its surrounding Communist Enclaves have the State in a Death Grip, and the smaller communities North, South, East and West, as well as Rural Coloradoans, no longer have any say in our State.
          I’m not happy with O’Dea, as I don’t trust him nor like some positions he takes including backing UBC’s. I think he’s a RINO, but he got my vote, because I’ve never voted for a Democrat in th 44 years I’ve been voting.

  2. When the man running as a candidate tells you publicly that he plans to break the law if elected then the choice is crystal clear.

  3. Who more than someone that has a cash business(be it legal or not) should be able to have a weapon for self defense? If the firearm is used in a crime, I think that a felony should apply, but someone that is a target for the money he carries should be able to defend themselves from a home takeover robbery.
    This is also true for those just out of prison. The old prison gang come knocking, wanting more and more, and he needs to be able to protect himself and his family.
    In Ca, he can’t even have a broken chair(a handy piece of 2×4 or the like) in his abode. Even a piece of firewood can get him violated.
    The po po won’t help him, he is at the tender mercy of the prison gang and their enforcers.

  4. “Both candidates agreed on supporting universal background checks for all firearm transfers, which is currently forbidden by federal law and unworkable without a national firearm registry.”

    I understand the law against a national registry, but I’m missing the part on UBCs being against federal law. Is the author making that statement based on the unavoidable connection between a forbidden registry and UBCs, or is there a specific law against UBCs?

    • You can very easy ‘say’ everyone needs a NICS check done through an FFL. But just how would you enforce this on John Doe who wants to give his 18 year old a firearm. Are you really going to just rely on the ‘honor system’ here like the how Democrats would treat gangs? If I hand you a firearm to test fire at the range then you ARE taking taking possession. Even if done in your home and shot at the range in you back yard of 1000 acres. How do you enforce this?

      The ONLY way is through a registry where every single firearm is tracked and traced at every point.

      But that isn’t the point in doing any of it. The point is finding out where everything is EXACTLY for future confiscation. Which is completely against the Constitution. That’s why it was made illegal.

    • UBC’s are a restriction on the law-abiding…anyone with criminal intent would simply ignore them…this simple truth is ignored in their zeal to further their agenda….

  5. It is not much of a choice in picking a candidate when both support the Universal Back ground checks that include a national gun registration.

  6. They are not assault weapons, they are Modern Defensive Rifles.
    Handy 100 years agon when a white clad mob showed up to burn a cross, and handy today when a black clad mob shows up to burn your home.

  7. O’Dea’s an idiot, the usual mashed potato candidate that the moribund Colorado Republican Party coughs up every election season like a housecat after licking a Furry to death. OTOH, Bennett is the dog feces you scrape off the bottom of your shoe. He has apparently never had an original thought in his life and simply does what the Demo-Commies tell him what to do. Bennett would load us all into boxcars headed east if Chuck Schumer ordered him to. I doubt whether Bennett could find Colorado on a map.

    So yeah, welcome to Flight 93! I voted for O’Dea and I gave his campaign money.

    Michael B

    • Mostly Californian migration in large numbers for years. Some years back the DMV numbers indicated several thousand a month, a number that was rising for many years.

      This trend greatly accelerated “during Covid”. Rather than expelling Newsome people fled here by the tens of thousands.

      Colorado’s pretty well gone at this point. Same for several other states.

      Californians are locusts. I’d rather have a border laced with landmines with California than Mexico. At least the immigrants want to be in the USA and not turn this place into the USSA.

      • I actually think CO could be saved. Other than Ft. Collins/Boulder/Denver we’re completely red. We need to be considered in the peaceful divorce plan where conservative/libertarian types choose states. The libs can migrate.

        • I’d say that the fall of Garfield, Park and Chafee counties argue otherwise.

          Sure, since 2016 Las Animas, Huerfano, Conejos and Alamosa counties have all flipped from blue to red, but who cares since you can add all those counties together in vote total and you get 23,877 compared to just Garfield county with 30,144. Biden won by 439,745 and Polis won by 268,087.

          Then glance at the recent trends and margins in Pitkin, Eagle, Larimer and Adams.

          How many new Californians are there here since 2020? A lot. I see their tags every-fucking-where. Those aren’t tourists.

          Your only bright spots are long-standing holdouts like Weld, El Paso and Elbert. Elbert is heavy red but can muster maybe 20K voters on a good day. 25K total would be OUTSTANDING turnout.
          Weld’s really the only red county other than El Paso with decent population. But you can flip both to 100% R and Biden and Polis still win by 211,744 and 40,086 respectively.

          Winning Kit Carson or Yuma (or most other red counties) doesn’t matter, neither has more than 5000 total voters. Denver, Arapahoe and Boulder counties have enough population edge for the Dems to run the state unless we import half the population of a major US city to counterbalance them. And their numbers are increasing.

          And, for the umpteenth time; there will be no peaceful divorce. That’s never going to happen because “territorial integrity” is a thing. Even if it did, your absolute best case is a hostile nation on your border preparing for war sooner rather than later because these people are members of a cult that is aggressive and expansionistic. Workers of the world, remember? These people don’t have small aspirations and you’re not allowed to just leave.

          We *talk* this out at the ballot box or we fight this out in the streets, there ain’t no third option because your adversaries won’t give you one. More and more talking to these people face to face I’m becoming convinced that they’re not going to let you have the talking option either. You’ll submit or there will be blood.

          The simple fact is that, at this point, Colorado is being overrun by people who don’t care at all about what you might call traditional Western anything. They’re Lefties. People so far gone that the undergraduate population of CU Boulder, even the kids FROM California, consider them to be mostly batshit crazy and the type you cannot reason with.

          The only thing that will get enough attention from these morons to really give you a shot at change, IMHO, is the complete and utter collapse of the dollar and therefore the federal government. Which…. you might get in the next year or two based on the current treasury market.

      • Sadly, the same thing has happened to the once-nice state of Montana. 30 years ago, stupid liberal Californians started moving there, to get away from the Communist policies & crap they thought was so great, and fled. Now, they are just “trying it again” somewhere else” because they are too damned stupid to learn anything. Maybe there is hope for Montana. It has gone purple, but not completely blue yet. These California “migrants” (that no one wanted or invited) have since ruined what used to be a nice state because that is what locusts do: Devour and destroy everything around them. But, I have gotten raked over the coals, even in this group, for speaking such truths, and quite frankly, I could care less what they think.

        • Nah, they don’t reproduce rapidly and uncontrollably, which is the hallmark of cancer.

          Lefties sterilize their children with hormone therapy, and that’s if they didn’t abort the kid in the first place. Cancer actually does pretty well by its daughter cells in comparison. I mean fuck, cancer even vascularizes the entire area around itself in most cases just so it can keep growing.

    • That’s a long story going back many years. It includes everything from Liberal Takeover of the Colleges and Universaties, as well as a careful transplantation of Commies from Commiefornia into Denvergrad, and its surrounding Liberal cities like Bouldervostok and Ft. Lenin-Collins. What really sealed the State’s fate was the move to Mail-In Ballots for all Elections in 2013. Since then, every election, another seat or three in the State Legislature inevitably goes to a DemoKKKrat.

  8. The choice in this particular election is between two shit sandwiches, one’s a single the other’s a double.

    Either way, you get a mouthful of shit.

    In this case I’ll probably go with Peotter as a middle finger to the Colorado GOP because the GOP in Colorado is mostly garbage, which honestly, is the nationwide trend.

    The current GOP mostly wouldn’t win a race dogcatcher if they ran against a competent party. They’re currently the protest vote against how insane the Dems have gone. Running against a party that has demonstrated itself to want to mimic the CCP isn’t hard.

    • 7 of 8 presidential elections the dem candidate won the popular vote Do away with the electoral college and there might not ever be another republican president. Yahoo.

      • If my Aunt had balls she’d be my Uncle.

        The EC fails to matter when the GOP is DNC Lite. Which is what they are. Even Newt Gingrich points this out, the Left takes over a system and if the GOP takes over they simply manage that system as if they were Lefties because, mostly, that’s what the GOP is: midwit middle managers who should be trying not to fuck up the paperwork at a Rent-A-Center and thanking their lucky stars they’re not still stuck as a shift manager at McD’s.

        Which is exactly what O’Dea is.

        • That depends entirely on what you want to see replace the current crop of morons.

          The answer from grassroots GOP is “Wha?!”. The thought hasn’t even occurred to them. They can’t wrap their head around the idea that the GOP is just as far gone and just as corrupt as the DNC.

          Is that an issue rooted in the system, or the people? How would you figure that out? <-Questions "grassroots Republicans" haven't managed to figure out exist yet.

  9. It’s so deflating that Ron Hanks lost the primary to this obvious RINO. We had a chance. I received flyers on back to back days decrying Hanks as ‘too Maga’ with a picture of him behind a rifle in primary season and knew immediately who I wanted to win.

  10. Funny how the gun grabbers never get around to revealing how many injuries or deaths were caused by peaceable, lawful owners of firearms. A recent Pew survey estimates that 72 million peaceable, lawful U.S. citizens own firearms. And every one of them undergoes a thorough background check by the FBI…for each time they purchase a firearm.

    The FBI conducted almost 40 million background checks last year alone. I doubt that any state with sensible legislators would attempt to duplicate their share of such a colossal effort. Even if they approached such numbers, taxpayers wouldn’t stand for such duplicative effort that would waste millions of taxpayer dollars.

  11. why are gun owners names in many states on public display?

    if thats going to be the case than anyone who recieves tax money for an abortion

    that name should also be on public display

  12. 30 years ago when I looked at buying guns off private owners, first I sized up the owner. If he seemed ok, I’d ask if he minded if we had a friend at the police department run the serial number, and if it comes back ok, would he sign a bill of sale for it. If he hackled up at all, I passed on the gun.
    Nowadays its different. I dont want to know the seller, I dont want him to know me, and I sure dont want police computers involved. The political climate is so toxic to gun owners the best policy is to break the chain of custody as many times as possible.
    We can thank the liberals for that.

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