Colorado Toughens Gun Laws After Latest Shooting

One raises the age to buy guns from 18 to 21
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2023 1:11 PM CDT
Colorado Toughens Gun Laws After Latest Shooting
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Colorado’s governor signed four gun control bills Friday, edging the once-purple state closer to liberal-leaning governments in California and New York just months after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, the latest in the state’s long history of notorious massacres, per the AP. The new laws, which Democrats pushed through despite late-night filibusters from Republicans, are aimed at quelling rising suicides and youth violence, preventing mass shootings and opening avenues for gun violence victims to sue the long-protected firearm industry.

Two of the new laws will raise the age to buy any firearm from 18 to 21 and install a three-day waiting period between the purchase and receipt of a gun. A third will strengthen the state’s red flag law, which allows a judge to temporarily remove someone’s gun if the person poses a threat to themselves or others. A fourth rolls back some legal protections for the firearm industry, exposing them to lawsuits from the victims of gun violence. A fifth proposal, a sweeping ban on semi-automatic firearms that includes certain pistols, shotguns, and rifles, was killed by Democrats last week—illustrating that the Democratic majority was only willing to go so far when it came to gun restrictions.

The new laws will likely be tested in court, with gun advocates threatening lawsuits and citing a Supreme Court decision last year in New York that expanded Second Amendment rights and opened the door for challenges to gun restrictions nationwide. In raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, Colorado joins California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and Rhode Island. Proponents point to data from the CDC showing that gun violence has overtaken vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in recent years.
(More gun laws stories.)

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