Boycott Colorado: Hunters take aim at Colorado tourism over gun-control bills

The rumblings of a boycott started even before Governor John Hickenlooper signed three gun-control measures ten days ago, and they're only going to get louder with President Barack Obama coming to Colorado on Wednesday to tout this state's new laws as an example for the rest of the country. "I'm boycotting Colorado, and I recommend everybody should, due to Colorado taking away Civil Rights (2nd Amendment)." That's the comment Rich Tomlinson left last night on the Visit Colorado Facebook page; a Boycott Colorado Facebook page has also sprung up.

The Visit Colorado site, which is maintained by the Colorado Tourism Office, usually has people posting beautiful photographs taken during their visits to this state, but now it also has photos like this....

...and comments this this one from Brian Hession:

I for one am ecstatic about Obama's visit to Colorado on Wednesday. He will be here to give his support to Denver Governor Hickenlooper and the State House for stripping us of our rights and how to take even more. I personally am getting tired of hearing from small business owners who don't like my stance on and support of a Boycott of Colorado.

You know it is beginning to become a very big problem for the Governor when the two largest newspapers in two of the states that have the most restrictive gun policies are reporting about a Boycott of Colorado over gun rights: The LA Times and The Boston Globe. This visit should help calm the fears of the small business owners worried about a Boycott and what effects it will have on Colorado's economy. He will reassure the folks at the State House that all is well and continue to ignore the populace and continue the push for Gun Control. Small business owners should not be angry at me for my stance after all in a Communist/ Socialist Society there are no small business owners except for those found on the black market.

Media outlets across the country ran an Associated Press report on a potential boycott of Colorado late last week, but so far, the Colorado Tourism Office lacks any hard evidence of any effect. "We haven't heard of any cancellations," says CTO spokeswoman Carly Holbrook, adding that there has been a "mixed bag" of both negative and positive comments posted on the state's social media -- not unlike the comments that followed the passage of Amendment 64.

Randy Hampton, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, says CPW is "getting the first of the fallout," with plenty of comments coming to both the agency and Colorado outfitters. So far, though, he hasn't seen specific evidence of cancellations, either -- but then, the deadline to apply for hunting licenses is midnight tomorrow.

"A few weeks from now, we'll be able to say if our applications are down," he explains. But even then, since there are a limited number of licenses available for some spots and plenty of competition, the impact could be minimal, since all the available licenses might still be snapped up: "The real impact won't be known by our agency until October, November, when these hunting seasons gear up, and hunter buy over-the-counter tags."

Ironically, Hampton notes, "the gun bills will make no change in our hunting regulations." But that doesn't stop the comments from people who are serious about this issue, or staunch about the fishing and hunting industry's concerns. "The reality of this," Hampton notes, "is it's a legislative decision...yet the impact will clearly be on the rural communities."

Hunting is "absolutely important to what we do for wildlife management," he continues. "Non-residents hunters provide 60 to 70 percent of our income; we don't get general fund revenue....There's a potential for a big impact -- we hope it won't come to that."

Continue for the Colorado Tourism Office's official response about boycott calls. Here's the Colorado Tourism Office's official response on any calls for a boycott:

The Colorado General Assembly is one of many states to recently propose new legislation related to curbing gun violence. In Colorado, five bills were approved by lawmakers. Two bills received the most attention: one requires background checks on all gun sales; another limits gun magazines bought or sold after the legislation becomes law to no more than 15 rounds (all existing magazines would be grandfathered).

We realize this is a contentious issue with impassioned arguments from both sides. However, the Colorado Tourism Office has neither the ability nor the authority to impact or influence any legislative issues.

The legislation will have little if any impact on Colorado's fishing and hunting experience. Colorado remains one of the top states in the country for fishing and big game hunting, with more than 250,000 elk in the state and more than 23 million acres of public land.

From the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Colorado a swing state in 2012...and a hate state in 1992."

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