In some ways, the Tuesday, December 5, arrest of Representative Lori Saine, a Weld County Republican from Dacono, for bringing a gun to Denver International Airport is no surprise. After all, she's among the state legislature's most prominent advocates for allowing guns in public places, including schools.
In January 2013, Saine spoke to Westword reporter Sam Levin about her sponsorship of a bill "that would give school boards the authority to allow employees of the district to carry a concealed handgun in the buildings and on school grounds — if the employee has a permit to carry."
"There will always be people that seek the same attention that the Aurora shooter is receiving right now," Saine said at the time. Saine also made reference to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where twenty children and six adults had been murdered the previous month. "The timing is perfect" for putting the bill forward, she maintained, adding, "It's time to have this conversation. It's actually past the time to have this conversation.... It's changing the conversation about what is compassionate — protecting our children in any way that we can."
In addition, Saine took verbal shots at efforts to restrict access to guns post-Sandy Hook. "They are trying to restrict law-abiding citizens from receiving weapons," she emphasized. "Folks who do things like shooting up a theater...do they follow laws?"
This question resonates in the wake of Saine being taken into custody at DIA on suspicion of introducing a firearm into a transportation facility.
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By the way, the 2013 schools-and-guns bill was unsuccessful, and so was a similar piece of legislation put forward this past legislative session. (SB 17-005 passed the Senate but died in a House committee.) However, Saine continues to carry the gun-rights torch. In November, for example, she Facebooked a post about the Texas attorney general arguing that concealed-carry laws can stop mass shootings like the one that took place that month at a Sutherland Springs church. As we reported at the time, Delvin Kelly, who killed more than twenty parishioners, once lived in Colorado Springs.
Saine also made headlines in 2013 when she showed up at a meeting of the Colorado Legislature's poverty task force with a box of Popeye's fried chicken. As our Patricia Calhoun pointed out at the time, this action was interpreted as Saine's "'silent protest' of the uproar after Senator Vicki Marble of Fort Collins told an earlier meeting of that same group that 'when you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race.... Sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that's prevalent in the genetic makeup, and you just can't help it. Although I've got to say, I've never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South and you — I love it....'"
The Denver Police Department provided the following statement to the Denver Post about Saine's DIA arrest: "The investigation is ongoing, so additional details are not available for release at this time. At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Denver district attorney’s office for consideration of possible charges." Saine, however, has yet to make a public comment on the situation at this writing.
When she does, you can bet she'll come out firing.