DENVER — Just months after the deadly mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Governor Polis signed four bills into law Friday morning, surrounded by the bills’ sponsors and activists who advocated for the policies aiming to curb gun violence.
Minutes after those four bills were signed into law, the nonprofit gun rights advocacy group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said they were already challenging two of them in the court. They’re going after two bills pertaining to buying guns because they say those two are unconstitutional, and are considering filing additional lawsuits against the other two laws signed.
They mark the biggest slate of gun reforms in the state since a package of gun bills passed in 2021 in the wake of the Boulder King Soopers mass shooting.
"Coloradans deserve to be safe in our communities, in our schools, and our grocery stores, nightclubs. Everywhere in between, Coloradans shouldn't have to fear the threat of robbery or gun violence,” said Gov. Polis.
House Bill 1219 establishes a three-day waiting period, at minimum, before someone can buy and receive a firearm, so a proper background check can be done. If a seller gives a gun to someone before the waiting period is up, fines could go from $500 to $5,000. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed a lawsuit against HB 1219, claiming it has "unconstitutional minimum waiting period requirements surrounding purchasing a firearm."
Senate Bill 168 allows gun victims to sue firearm manufacturers and dealers for damages in civil court.
A third bill, Bill 169, bans the sale of firearms for anyone between 18 and 21 years old, but adds exemptions for those who are 18 and have a hunting license, or if they own or use a gun under the direct supervision of an immediate family member who is at least 25 years old. Those in the Armed Forces as well as police officers are also exempt. This was the second lawsuit Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed. The group said SB 169 "denies the constitutionally protected right to purchase, own, and possess a firearm to legal adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty."
Lastly, Senate Bill 170 changes the guidelines for the state’s “red flag laws” — which outline who can petition for an extreme risk protection order. Current law only allows a family, household member or law enforcement officer to ask for authority to confiscate a person’s gun because they’re a danger to themselves or others. Under the new law, a medical care provider, mental health professional or even a teacher can file one.
Bills that would ban ghost guns and assault weapons are still working their way through the state legislature.