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Former state Rep. Joel Judd goads House speaker to crack down on guns

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 28, 2018 - Updated: February 28, 2018

Then-state Rep. Joel Judd, a Denver Democrat, from a campaign photo. (

It just so happens Democratic state Rep. Crisanta Duran, aka Madame Speaker, represents the Denver House district previously held by fellow Democrat Joel Judd. So, maybe it was a sense of investment in his old seat that explained Judd’s decision this week to very publicly call out Duran over Democratic inaction on gun control.

In a letter he sent Duran Monday and shared with news media, Judd urges the speaker to advance “a series of common sense gun safety measures,” including a cooling-off period for gun sales and a “ban on semi-automatic weapons such as the one that produced such carnage in Florida.” He then essentially chides her for failing to act:

Having attended the rally last week with members of your caucus, I am frankly surprised that such an agenda has not been advanced. I appreciate that these laws may not pass the State Senate. However, we need to put people on the record: Do you stand for common sense gun safety measures – or do you stand with the NRA(?) I know where 90% of your constituents and 75% of the people in Colorado stand.

Pretty pointed. He concludes the brief letter with some tough talk:

Madame Speaker — stand up to the bully boys of the NRA and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and allow for a late bill to advance a serious gun safety agenda.

Judd was an advocate of gun control during his four terms as Duran’s predecessor in House District 5, from 2003 to 2011. He unsuccessfully carried a measure to rein in guns in cars unless the motorist had a concealed-carry permit.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.