Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Colorado to Raise Legal Age for Gun Purchases to 21 Starting in August

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Starting from August 7, the state of Colorado will prohibit the sale of all types of firearms to individuals younger than 21 years old.

While federal legislation already bars individuals under the age of 21 from purchasing handguns, this new state law extends the prohibition to all firearms within Colorado.

The Provisions of Colorado's New Gun Law

Under the new legislation, anyone below 21 years of age who purchases a firearm may face penalties including a one-year jail term or a fine of $1,000. Additionally, anyone found selling or transferring a firearm to someone under the age of 21 could be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail or fined $5,000.

The law does not apply uniformly to everyone; there are certain exemptions. Specifically, three categories of people are exempt from the age restriction.

Active-duty military members and peace officers are two groups exempted from the minimum age requirement for purchasing firearms. Those who have received certification from the Peace Officer Standards and Training board are also allowed to buy firearms regardless of age.

Lawsuit Against Over-21 Gun Law

A federal lawsuit was lodged against Governor Polis and the state in April challenging the constitutionality of the new law. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the group behind the lawsuit, alleges that the law infringes upon the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. This group has also contested the law stipulating a minimum waiting period.

Additional Gun Legislation in Colorado

The age limit is among five gun-related bills enacted during the 2023 legislative session.

One of these laws, which broadened the red flag law in the state, became effective in April after Governor Jared Polis endorsed it. Another bill introduced a compulsory three-day waiting period prior to delivering a firearm to a purchaser; this law will be enacted in October.

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