Colorado Gov Signs Four New Gun Control Measures Into Law

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Apr 29, 2023 - 11:30 PM

Joining Washington state in a 2023 western-United States gun control blitz, Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Friday put his signature on four bills restricting the exercise of the human right of armed self-defense.  

“No action can ever bring back the loved one that you lost,” said Polis, surrounded by gun control advocates and shooting victims and family members. “But turning your own personal tragedy into action in a way that will make others safer, will really prevent others from having to go through what you went through.”

At Friday's signing ceremony, Gov. Polis hands a pen to the parents of Aurora movie theater shooting victim Jessica Ghawi (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

Here's what they do: 

  • Increase the legal age for purchasing firearms to 21. The law grandfathers anyone who was 18 when the law was enacted, and has exceptions that include hunting, attending shooting classes, being a peace officer or active duty military. 

  • Create a 3-day waiting period for firearms purchases. The law appears to put the burden solely on sellers, who face a $500 fine for a first offense and fines between $500 and $5,000 for subsequent offenses. 

  • Expand the list of people who can submit "red flag" gun-confiscation petitions. Colorado already had an "Extreme Risk Protection Order" law, under which family/household members and law enforcement officers/agencies could petition for disarming an individual. Now, petitions can be accepted from medical care providers, mental health-care providers, educators and district attorneys. 

  • Remove gun manufacturers' protection from liability. Previously, firearm and ammo manufacturers could only be sued over defects. The new law repeals that limit and requires broadly-defined "firearm industry members" to "establish and implement reasonable controls and precautions related to the industry product in its control." It allows individuals or the Colorado attorney general to pursue actions against violators, and "unlawful misuse" of a firearm or ammo is not a defense. 

There's one type of restriction conspicuously absent from Friday's bundle: an "assault weapon" ban, like the one recently enacted in Washington state.

A Monmouth University poll released last week found 49% of Americans oppose such bans, with 46% supporting them and 6% unsure. "That marks a nine-point decline in support and a seven-point increase in opposition since Monmouth asked the same question in June 2022," notes Stephen Gutowski at The Reload.

Already poised to counterstrike, gun rights advocates began filing legal challenges to the new laws on the same day Polis signed them. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) sued Polis and the state over the waiting period and the age-21 requirement. The group plans to challenge the other two laws after finding plaintiffs with standing to challenge them. (Read the filed complaints here: Waiting Period / Age 21)

“Gun owners’ rights are being ravaged in the Colorado legislature by the puppets of Everytown for Gun Control and Michael Bloomberg," said RMGO executive director Taylor Rhodes in a statement. He added:

"They will not be happy until all law-abiding gun owners are disarmed, and only the criminals have guns. When a single mother is being harassed by a violent, abusive former partner, the Democrats at the Capitol think it is fine to make her wait at least three days to defend herself and her baby. And if she is twenty, these gun control fanatics insist she is completely defenseless.”

While not assured of victory, the challenges will have a mighty tailwind, thanks to last summer's Supreme Court Bruen decision requiring that, to be held constitutional, gun control laws must be "consistent with the nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation." Applying that test, federal judges across the country have been knocking down and imposing injunctions against gun laws left and right.