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Hunters seek to boycott Colorado over gun laws

COLORADO SPRINGS — Hunters across the country say they are boycotting Colorado because of recent legislation meant to curtail gun violence.

Colorado last week became the first Western state to ratchet back gun rights in response to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and an elementary school in Connecticut. Opponents warned that the gun controls would hurt hunters, especially an expansion of background-check requirements for personal and online gun sales.

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Republican opponents of the new background-check law said it would make criminals of hunters lending one another weapons for weekend hunting trips. In response, Democrats changed the bill to give people a 72-hour grace period to share guns without triggering background-check requirements. Republicans then said the bill would imperil weeklong hunting trips.

Gun rights advocates who said hunters would boycott Colorado say hunters are following through on the threats.

Michael Bane, a freelance producer for the Outdoor Channel, announced he will no longer film his four shows in Colorado.

Hunting outfitters say people began canceling trips after the legislation passed, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported.

Northwest Colorado hunting guide Chris Jurney expects more defections in a major tourism industry. Out-of-state hunters accounted for 15 percent of hunting licenses last year.

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