Unlike most Republicans who ignore the well-documented drop in crime after it increased during the pandemic, state Rep. Gabe Evans (R-Fort Lupton), who’s running in one of the most competitive congressional seats in the country, has not only publicly acknowledged the lower crime rate, but credits “the left” for the drop.

Evans appeared on KHOW’s Dan Caplis show two weeks ago to discuss several pieces of gun legislation up for debate at the Statehouse. He apparently opposes all of them. To make his point, he offered a half-decade’s worth of data on both gun bills and crime statistics.

“I’m looking at the numbers right now,” said Evans on air. “Since 2019, 12 gun control bills have been passed in Colorado the last five years, 2019 to 2023. In that same time period, criminals using guns to commit crime went up from, roughly 6,000 to almost 10,000.

“And I’m giving the left credit for the drop in crime that occurred in 2023. Because if I was ending this data with 2022, it would be over 11,000, almost a 100% increase in criminals using guns, despite 12 gun control bills being passed in Colorado in the last five years.”

His acknowledgment to Caplis is at odds with an ad he has made for his campaign for the Colorado’s 8th Congressional District (CD8). In it he claims “soft-on-crime” Democrats are responsible for the state’s “crime tsunami.”

Furthermore, he specifically blames CD8 incumbent Democrat Yadira Caraveo. But she didn’t take office until 2023, when crime started going down.

“It all changed when Caraveo and the radical Democrats took over,” said Evans in his ad. “They changed the laws, put police officers at risk, and let criminals go free. It wasn’t incompetence; it was on purpose. It’s what liberals do! And Coloradans, we got a crime wave.”

Evans did not respond to an email request for comment as to which bills passed by the Democratic majorities he felt contributed to the drop in crime. This article will be updated with any response received.