The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has approved a petition to recall Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, over his support of a controversial “red flag” gun control bill passed by the legislature.
Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting, sponsored House Bill 1177, which allows a judge to issue a temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) if a person is thought to be a threat by family or law enforcement. A person’s firearms can be temporarily seized for up to a year under the ERPO.
Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill into law last month.
The legislation was met with widespread backlash from Republicans, pro-gun groups, and local governments. Half of the counties in the state opposed the legislation.
The petition lists Kristine Brown as a proponent of the measure. Brown is the Colorado Republican Party vice chair, according to Colorado Politics. 10,035 signatures will need to be collected in order to hold a recall election.
Sullivan last year replaced Republican Rep. Cole Wist, who lost his re-election bid following his support for similar legislation to the bill that Democrats passed this year.
Wist spoke out on Twitter Tuesday, defending Sullivan and pointing the finger at pro-gun group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO).
“Last year, state GOP leadership failed to speak up to defend me when RMGO carpet bombed my house district with negative flyers. Now, these same leaders pledge to work with RMGO to take out my successor in a recall. I do not support this effort,” he said.
“It is unfortunate but crystal clear. RMGO owns the Colorado Republican Party,” Wist added.
The group said on its Facebook page Tuesday that it supports the recall effort facing Sullivan.
RMGO recently filed a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality because the bill wasn’t read at length on the House floor following requests to do so by Republican lawmakers.
The only other recall petition approved by the Secretary of State was for Rep. Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley, who resigned on Sunday following allegations that reportedly have led to a police investigation.