President Barack Obama is back in Colorado Wednesday to pressure Congress to pass federal gun control measures similar to those recently passed in the Centennial State.
As part of the trip, Obama intends to meet with law enforcement officials at the Denver Police Academy and use the academy as a backdrop to discuss his gun control agenda, a move that has some Denver police officers criticizing the president and his ideas on gun control.
7News reports that Denver police officer John Akins wrote this on his Facebook page:
Today, President Obama and Governor (John) Hickenlooper are going to use the Denver Police Academy as a prop to push a political agenda. That hangar, the badge hanging on the wall, and the officers standing in the crowd will now be forever attached to the agenda of a political party and it’s push to strip Americans of their rights.
Akins is not alone in his criticism of the president and the gun control legislation he's pushing. CBS4 reports that Denver police officer Wade Davis posted this message on Facebook earlier in the week:
Obama is coming to our city, using the DPD’s Academy as a stage in order to push his legislation violating the second amendment. Truly a sad day for this department, city and state.
Denver officer Danny Veith also was critical of Obama's visit, writing this on Facebook:
I am thinking about being on the sidewalk outside the Academy, on Wednesday, holding a sign that says something like “I’m a Real Cop Supporting the 2nd Amendment.” Anyone want to join me?
Veith also told The Denver Post that that he's concerned the Denver Police Department is being used "as a vehicle for partisan political influence."
But Denver Police Chief Robert White said that no officer is required to attend, "If they want to attend, we're going to try to find a way for them to attend. If they don't want to go, that's perfectly fine also."
According to CBS4, the Denver Police Department was asking for officers in uniform to stand behind Obama as he makes his speech, but only asked for volunteers -- no officers were ordered to participate in the event.
White also stressed that the department's involvement in the president's event just was an opportunity to give some "positive exposure" to Denver and Colorado at large.
Sixteen sheriffs from around Colorado are also planning a news conference on Wednesday in Denver near a park where the president will be to speak out against any more gun control measures.
Drawing on the gun control legislation momentum here in Colorado, it's expected that Obama will call out the need for universal background checks for all gun purchases and transfers as well as a limit on high-capacity magazines and a ban on assault weapons at the federal level. Just last month, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three landmark gun control bills into law, including a universal background check measure and a high-capacity magazine limitation measure.