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Sheriff's office claims governor admitted to supporting gun laws without researching them

CORTEZ, Colo. - A post on the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office Facebook page says that Governor John Hickenlooper admitted to supporting gun control legislation without adequately researching the bills and apologized to the sheriffs for not listening to them about the legislation.

The post says that Hickenlooper made the comments during a meeting with Colorado sheriffs on Friday, June 13, 2014.

The post also claims that the governor said he didn't realize the legislation was going to cause so much controversy.

Eric Brown, Director of Communications for the governor's office, says the sheriff's office took Hickenlooper's comments out of context.

Below are notes taken by one of Brown's staffers who was at the meeting:

When asked why he (Hickenlooper) didn't meet with sheriffs about the gun bills:

I didn't find out sheriffs wanted to meet with me till a week later. I apologize for that. Lots of other issues going on at same time. I didn't think it was going to have the affect on people that it turned out to have. We should have done better. I apologize. I don't think we did a good job.

We didn't do a good job on the process. When speaking with Republicans across the state they supported universal background checks. But when none of the Republican legislators supported it, I knew we had a problem. So we went back and got the facts (during the legislative process).

When asked why it was so hard for sheriffs to get in touch with him (Hickenlooper) during the gun bill debates:

I apologize for that. I think we've taken a good step with our new ED of CDPS, a sheriff. You all know him and know how to get in touch with him. Our administration knows how important it is to be accessible.

Brown says that both the governor and his staff researched the issue extensively before the legislation was signed.

The governor signed the gun control bills into law last year. Most of Colorado's sheriffs joined in a lawsuit soon after seeking to have the laws overturned.  The 9th circuit court is expected to make a decision in August, according to the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office.

Montezuma County is located in the Four Corners region of southwestern Colorado.

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