Colorado Gun Law Raising Purchase Age To 21 Halted
In a major victory for gun owners’ rights, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against Colorado’s controversial gun reform measure which aimed to raise the age of firearm purchase to 21 years old.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) August 7, 2023
The law, dubbed “SB23-169” or “the 18 to 20-year-old gun ban,” faced strong opposition from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a pro-gun non-profit organization, which contended that it infringed upon citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
The ban was introduced by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the state legislature after a tragic shooting incident at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
Under the law, no individual aged 18 to 20 would be allowed to purchase firearms except for active members of the U.S. armed forces, peace officers, and Peace Officer Standards and Training board-certified members.
However, the law faced immediate challenges from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which deemed it unconstitutional from the outset.
The RMGO’s lawsuit against the state cited a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling from last year, where restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in New York were deemed to violate Americans’ Second and 14th Amendment rights.
Based on this precedent, U.S. District of Colorado Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer found that the individual plaintiffs in the case demonstrated “a likelihood of success on the merits on the question of whether the Second Amendment applies to 18- to 20-year-olds.”
In reaction to the ruling, spokesman for Gov. Polis, Conor Cahill, expressed hope that the courts would recognize what he believes is the law’s consistency with the Second Amendment.
“This law closes that loophole and the governor hopes that the courts agree with him that the law is fully consistent with our Second Amendment rights. The governor is working towards his goal of making Colorado one of the 10 safest states in the country — and the same age requirements for pistols and rifles would help support responsible gun ownership,” he stated.
Sponsors of the legislation, including Majority House Leader Democrat Monica Duran, argued that the law aimed to protect young people and reduce gun-related incidents such as youth suicide and domestic violence.
However, gun shops and shooting ranges in the state highlighted concerns that the law could curtail citizens’ ability to defend themselves and lead to a decline in profits.
Executive director of RMGO Taylor Rhodes stated that the organization foresaw the law’s unconstitutionality from the beginning and warned the bill sponsors of its likely fate in court. After the ruling in their favor, Rhodes declared that their efforts would not stop with that win.
“We won’t stop fighting until every single unconstitutional anti-gun law is struck down,” he declared.