Cynthia Coffman defends gun control laws she opposes


Cynthia Coffman is doing her job defending Colorado’s gun control laws she has politically opposed. Her predecessor John Suthers did the same thing and incurred the wrath — and threats — of gun advocates.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Colorado for the Tenth Circuit tossed out a lawsuit from a coalition of Colorado sheriffs that challenged two 2013 gun control laws that led to a political upheaval in the Statehouse.

Coffman found herself walking a fine line between defending the state from the lawsuit and her staunch pro-gun-rights stance.

The Tenth Circuit tossed the case, stating the sheriffs did not have the standing, or authority, to challenge the law.

Coffman, in response Tuesday, said her staff defended the state’s law, but also pointed out the Court dismissed the case on procedural grounds rather then whether the laws were constitutional.

The two gun control measures, passed in the 2013 session, put a limit of 15 bullets on ammunition magazines and set a requirement for background checks for firearms transfers, except when those transfers are between family members.

Fury over the gun control laws led to the recall of two Colorado Senate Democrats, Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron of Pueblo, and the resignation of a third.

Republicans held onto those seats for only the 2014 session. Both were reclaimed by Democrats in the next election.


Photo courtesy of the Attorney General’s office.

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.