Colorado Lawmakers Under Recall Threat for Gun-Control Votes

Activists are relying on volunteers, and no campaign has raised more than a few thousand dollars. Victor Head, a plumber who is organizing the recall of Sen. Giron in the central Colorado town of Pueblo, says his volunteers have been collecting signatures in gun stores.

"We've got eight stores in Pueblo, whether it be my volunteers sitting behind the counter or the employees themselves," Head, 28, said. "[At] the high-volume stores, we've got someone there all day, every day."

Like other organizers, Head said he had never set up a recall campaign and didn't know how before this year.

"I'm a plumber," Head said. "I've never done anything like this in my life."

Early in the process, a nonprofit group called the Basic Freedom Defense Fund tried and failed to organize the recalls under one, centrally funded umbrella. Dave Palm, who runs a website affiliated with the Hudak recall, called the group "a lot of hot air and a lot of promises."

Other activists said they found the fund's early support helpful. Even without the fund's overarching guidance, the petition campaigns say they're talking to each other by phone and sharing information.

Basic Freedom Defense Fund does not disclose its fundraising and declined to who sits on is board. Anthony Garcia, a 27-year-old oil-field worker involved in organizing the fund, said the group's leaders are "normal people" who don't want to be identified for fear of reprisal from gun-control supporters. And he denied major influence or funding from national groups.

"The Basic Freedom Defense Fund is a completely grassroots effort," he said. "We don't have any big corporate or political affiliations. We're just the average Joe."

Asked whether any national or out-of-state groups had supported the fund, Garcia said, "There are a lot of groups who are interested in what we're doing. We're not affiliated with any of them officially. They support us, they love what we're doing, they try to help us."

The Basic Freedom Defense Fund is now the driving force behind the recall of Senate President Morse. The official Morse recall committee, the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee, reported raising only $100 at the beginning of April, two weeks after Morse's petition was approved.

For his part, Sen. Morse says he's not worried.

"What they're accusing us all of is passing sensible gun legislation that 90 percent of the public supports, so how does that work to get 50 percent to [vote for a] recall?" Morse asked.

A former police chief, Morse said he still owns the backup weapon he used as an officer, a Walther PPK.

"I'm a crack shot -- crack," he said. "I don't enjoy it at all, but I'm good at it."

This story has been updated.

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