Colorado raises age to buy firearms to 21

The new law goes into effect Monday.


A new gun control law has passed in Colorado that now prohibits many legal US adults from buying a firearm

The bill, SB23-169, forbids all people under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm, except in the case of active members of the US Military, peace officers, and people approved by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. It was signed by Democrat Gov. Jared Polis and goes into effect Monday.

"People under the age of 21 are no longer going to have the right to defend themselves with firearms," remarked Kevin Day, a store manager at DCF Guns in Castle Rock, Colorado. "The best thing we can do is continue to educate the public."

Some have reacted by initiating lawsuits against both Polis and the state of Colorado. One example is The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a second amendment advocacy group that has requested a Temporary Restraining Order to block the law from taking effect, as they argue it is unconstitutional. 

People involved with the group argue that if somebody is legally old enough to participate in elections, they should be able to acquire a firearm.

"You can be drafted into the military. You can go and die for your country, but you can’t own a gun. That’s just wrong," RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes said to Fox 21.

stated Paul Paradis, the owner of Paradise Sales in Colorado Springs. "That's what's happening to our constitutional rights. They're just slowly eroding from different entities in our society."

Backers of the legislation have claimed it does not violate the American people’s rights and that it will help make society safer.

"This isn't trying to infringe on anybody’s rights … What it comes down to is saving lives, we know that youth suicide has increased," Democrat Majority House Leader Monica Duran told Fox News. "We know domestic violence has increased."

The new law makes it a class two misdemeanor for a person to buy a firearm while under the age of 21 and brings charges for a class one misdemeanor for any person who sells a gun to anyone under 21 years of age. 

"We're going to have to wait and see what the court is going to say on the constitutionality of this," Paradis said of the legislation. "I really believe that this Court is going to find it unconstitutional."

Numerous other states have passed similar legislation to ban the purchasing of firearms for those under 21; a recent notable example is the firearms law passed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in June 2022. Another prohibition for adults under 21 came from then-Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the legislation in March 2018.

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