As he prepared to vote for some of the strictest gun control measures in the country earlier this year, John Morse, a former police chief and president of the State Senate, knew he would infuriate some constituents.
Now, after months of gathering signatures and skirmishing in court, gun activists in Colorado, with the support of the National Rifle Association, have forced Mr. Morse and a fellow Democrat, Senator Angela Giron, into recall elections. The recall effort is seen nationally as a test of whether politicians, largely Democrats, outside big cities and deep-blue coastal states can survive the political fallout of supporting stricter gun laws.
For Colorado gun-rights supporters — and their allies like the N.R.A. and the Republicans who opposed the gun bills — the recall elections are a chance to send a message to any politician who would support similar legislation. If Mr. Morse and Ms. Giron survive the recall vote, it might bolster lawmakers in other gun-friendly states to consider more controls on firearms.