DENVER (CBS4/AP) – A state lawmaker who pushed for gun control legislation in Colorado was among those invited to the White House for the announcement of President Barack Obama’s plan to tighten gun regulations.

Democratic State Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora says she got an unexpected invitation to talk to the president about gun control Tuesday and watch the announcement. She posted on Facebook that the East Room was “heavy with grief” from families who have lost children to gun violence.

The White House's invitation (credit: CBS)

The White House’s invitation (credit: CBS)

In 2013, Fields sponsored the expansion of background checks and limiting the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds in response to the Aurora movie theater shooting and the massacre at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On Monday Fields told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd that most Americans don’t have a problem with parts of Obama’s executive order.

CBS4's Shaun Boyd interviews Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Shaun Boyd interviews Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora (credit: CBS)

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done here in Colorado and if we can get background checks passed as a nation, that would be great progress,” Fields said. “So I think that’s easy to do because even gun owners say background checks are a good thing to do. It polls extremely well.”

Also at Tuesday’s announcement were former southern Colorado state Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron. They were both recalled after supporting the expanded background checks in Colorado.

Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner issued a statement saying in part, “Once again President Obama has decided to take divisive, unilateral action. Restricting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans is not now and will never be the answer … I stand with the millions of law-abiding supporters of the Second Amendment, and with all those who respect our constitutional democracy in opposing the president’s actions today.”

Tuesday’s announcement also brought sharp criticism from Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap, who has been outspoken on the gun control issue. On his Facebook page Heap posted, “It’s different than it once was — we are now at that point where the wolves have persuaded the sheep that it is necessary for the sheepdogs to wear muzzles. Once that happens, everything that makes this country great, everything that men and women have laid their lives down for, to keep this Nation Free — across the world and on our own soil … will evaporate before our very eyes. I’m not ok with that.”

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