Colorado Democratic governor signs 4 gun control bills into law
Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed four bills into law Friday that raise the age requirement for gun possession and establish a minimum waiting period for gun deliveries, among other measures.
“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 package of new laws comes amid a fresh political debate over gun control and mental health, and just months after a mass shooting left five people dead and more than a dozen injured at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs in November. Last year there were 646 mass shootings in America, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and there have been at least 172 so far this year.
Under the new measures, Colorado residents must be 21 years old to legally possess a gun, increasing the requirement from 18 years of age. However, there are several exceptions. Among them, residents attending firearms safety courses, hunter’s education or authorized target shooting practice, or those participating in a shooting class under the supervision of someone who is at least 25-years-old, or those who are active service members.
There will also now be a three-day minimum waiting period before the delivery of a firearm that was purchased following a background check. A violation of this waiting period will result in a $500 fine for the first violation and up to $5,000 for subsequent violations.
One of the new laws expands the state’s red flag law, which currently allows law enforcement, family members or a household member to petition a judge to temporarily seize a person’s firearms if they are deemed a risk. Under the new law, more people will be allowed to petition for an extreme risk protection order, including district attorneys, licensed educators, licensed medical care providers, and licensed mental health care providers.
A fourth measure removes a liability protection currently on the books for manufacturers whose firearms or ammunition may have defects. It “requires each industry member that is 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 related to the industry product in its control,” according to the legislation summary.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre applauded the development.
“Today, Colorado has enacted four common-sense gun reforms, including elimination of some of the barriers to holding gun manufacturers and dealers accountable,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.
“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 into law six bills that will create universal background checks for all firearms and mandate safe storage requirements around 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. Nebraska’s Gov. Jim Pillen on Tuesday 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.