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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 11th, 2013
07:02 PM ET

Colorado lawmakers recalled over gun legislation

An historic and first-ever recall vote in Colorado pitted citizen against citizen, as well as two of the nation's most powerful gun lobby groups against each other – Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" versus The National Rifle Association. Both groups are spending millions to sway voters.

Ultimately Colorado voters sent a stern message to two state senators, both Democrats, who supported the unpopular new gun laws: You're fired.

State Senator Angela Giron, who represented a mainly Democratic district, and Colorado State Senate President John Morse were both booted.

Morse offering little contrition for supporting gun laws that lead to his political demise.

"If passing gun safety legislation in Colorado cost me my political career, that is such a small price to pay, because the families of gun violence victims pay a huge price every single day," Morse said.

Read: Gun battle in states heats up as NRA steps in to recall CO state senate president

Among the laws that caused such a backlash was one limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, another requiring universal background checks, and a third which required gun purchasers to cover the cost of the background checks.

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, which helped local groups in Colorado mount the recall effort, celebrated the results as a major milestone, saying in a statement, "(NRA-PVF) is proud to have stood with the men and women in Colorado who sent a clear message that their Second Amendment rights are not for sale."

Supporters of the Colorado laws argue that following tragedies in Aurora and Newtown, stricter gun laws make Coloradans safer.

Opponents fought the laws fiercely, and view them as an infringement on constitutional rights. They also see the victory in Colorado as a pivotal moment in the nation's gun policy debate.

Colorado's recall vote could now force lawmakers nationwide to weigh the risks of proposing or supporting controversial gun-control policies, with the possibility of facing an angry and empowered gun rights lobby willing to unleash unprecedented force to get their way.

The gun control laws remain on the books in Colorado, lawmakers will now have to work to remove them.

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