DENVER — The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill Saturday that would require a three-day waiting period to purchase firearms.
House Bill 23-1219 passed the House by a vote of 44-20. The bill now moves to the Senate.
The bill calls for a three-day waiting period between the time a background check is initiated or when the purchase is approved following any background check.
Sellers who fail to comply will face a civil infraction punishable by a $500 fine for the first offense and a $500 to $5,000 fine for subsequent offenses.
The bill's backers say a waiting period allows for a so-called "cooling off period" that may prevent gun purchases that lead to suicides and homicides.
"We have good evidence that suggests that if you slow somebody down, who is having a crisis of one kind or another and is trying to buy a gun in response to that, if you make them wait, then oftentimes the crisis will pass," said Rep. Judy Amabile, one of the Democrat sponsors of the bill. "Then they won't get the gun and they won't do whatever it was they intended to do. Either suicide of maybe threaten somebody."
Republican lawmakers pushed back, criticizing the bill for not including more exceptions.
"You can still have your three-day waiting period but there are a group and class of citizens who deserve the right to be protected," said Representative Brandi Bradley.
"We ran an amendment for victims of violent crimes to be able to buy firearms. For victims of sexual assault and rape to be able to buy firearms of domestic violence and survivors of a murder attempt. We even added a caveat that the perpetrator must still be at large, and those were still voted down. These are reasonable exceptions," said Representative Matt Soper.
Bill to implement 3-day waiting period for firearm purchases passes committee
As written, the only exceptions are for the sale of antique guns and military members selling their gun to their family members before they deploy out of the U.S.
The waiting period would not apply to antique firearms. It also exempts the transfer of a firearm between an active duty military servicemember who is set to deploy overseas and their family.