Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed four legislation into law on Friday that, among other things, raise the age threshold for gun possession and impose a minimum waiting period for gun delivery.
“Today we are taking some important steps to help make Colorado one of the ten safest states, and building upon the ongoing work to make Colorado communities safer,” Polis said in a statement, adding that the laws “improve public safety and reduce gun violence.”
The new regulations come amid a renewed political debate over gun control and mental health. Just months after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs in November left five people dead and more than a dozen injured. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 646 mass shootings in America last year, with at least 172 so far this year.
Colorado residents must now be 21 to lawfully possess a firearm, an increase from the previous minimum of 18 years old. There are, however, a few exceptions. Residents taking gun safety courses, hunter’s education, authorized target shooting practice, or those participating in a shooting class under the supervision of someone over 25 or active service members are among them.
There will also be a three-day minimum waiting period before a handgun is acquired after a background check is delivered. A violation of this waiting period will result in a $500 fine for the first offense and a $5,000 fine for future offenses.
One of the new laws strengthens the state’s red flag statute, which presently permits law enforcement, family members, or household members to ask a judge to temporarily seize a person’s weapons if they are considered as a risk.
More people, including district attorneys, licensed educators, licensed medical care providers, and licensed mental health care providers, can apply for an extraordinary risk protection order under the new law.
A fourth measure eliminates a present liability shield for manufacturers whose rifles or ammo may have flaws. According to the legislation summary, it “requires each industry member engaged in the manufacture, distribution, importation, marketing, or wholesale or retail sale of an industry product in Colorado to establish and implement reasonable controls and precautions for the industry product under its control.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre applauded the development.
“Today, Colorado has enacted four common-sense gun reforms, including elimination some of the barriers to holding gun manufacturers and dealers accountable,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.
Today, Colorado has enacted four common-sense gun reforms, including elimination of some of the barriers to holding gun manufacturers and dealers accountable. Thank you, Colorado leaders and gun violence survivors, for this important step forward.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) April 28, 2023
“Thank you, Colorado leaders and gun violence survivors, for this important step forward,” she added.
Several Democratic-led states have passed similar gun control measures in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed six bills to create universal background checks for all firearms and mandate safe storage requirements for children. On Tuesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a ban on most sales of assault-style weapons.
Some Republican governors, however, have signed bills this year expanding access to firearms. On Tuesday, Nebraska’s Gov. Jim Pillen signed a permitless concealed carry bill into law similar to one enacted in Florida earlier in April. Twenty-seven states now generally don’t require a permit to carry a concealed weapon publicly.
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