State Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, has come under fire for comments she made to a rape victim during a committee hearing concerning a bill banning concealed carry weapons from college campuses.
Amanda Collins, 27, of Reno, Nev., testified against House Bill 1226 before the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee at the Colorado Capitol on Monday.
Collins, a victim of rape, shared her story with the committee and said had she been permitted to carry a concealed gun, the incident may have ended differently.
"I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun," Hudak said. "And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you."
"The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that for every one woman who used a handgun in self-defense, 83 were killed by them," Hudak.
Collins said those comments were shocking and disturbed her deeply.
"I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about what she said to me," Collins said.
Hudak apologized to Collins, but her motive for doing so was questioned.
"I don't know how genuine it really was," Collins said.
The remarks have drawn criticism.
"It was outrageous," said Dave Kopel, a professor at the University of Denver law school and author of a law-school textbook on firearms law and policy.
Kopel said Hudak's statement displayed the senator's "self-righteous, ignorant bigotry."
After the 3-2 party line vote moving the bill forward, Hudak said the testimony was incredibly powerful, but her job was to keep the safety of all college campus students in mind.
"I feel so horrible for what some of these people have endured," Hudak said. " I am actually really looking out for their best interest."
The odds of a perpetrator of a sexual crime — especially a larger male — getting the gun away from a woman are high, Hudak said.
Collins said that Hudak's comments while painful, were not incorrect.
"The stats are against me," Collins said, "but I am going to fight because of my experience."