I am going to be very honest with you. This raises my confirmation bias sense. I don't doubt that Colton Haab is telling us what he wanted to ask. But it sounds to me like there may have been a misunderstanding more than CNN trying to get him to not ask his particular question. The network is denying that they insisted on scripted, anti-gun questions.
It sounds to me like Colton wanted to make a statement of some sort, including saying he expected to give his opinion on his questions. CNN asked him to write a speech and question, but then CNN asked him to ask a scripted question instead. He wound up not going.
I have participated in enough CNN events to know that they've never done this when I've been involved and to the extent they get people to ask "scripted" questions, they work with people to get their question more narrowly focused so they don't have microphone hogs monologuing. It has nothing to do with insisting only certain questions be asked.
But that's the impression this is going to give to people already mad about the townhall and it is going to play well all over conservative media. I just think there was a misunderstanding here. Again, I don't doubt what Colton Haab is saying. I just think he might have misunderstood what CNN was trying to do. I suspect they were trying to just tighten up his question, not force him to ask a question presupposing a position he does not support.