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Colorado General Assembly works through the weekend to advance two major gun laws

Colorado Legislature Opens
Posted at 1:56 PM, Mar 27, 2023

DENVER, CO — The Colorado State Legislature worked through the weekend to advance two bills surrounding gun laws here in Colorado.

SB23-168 Gun Violence Victims' Access To Judicial System
SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Order Petitions

SB23-168 Gun Violence Victims' Access To Judicial System

As it stands, gun manufacturers, sellers, and gun part manufacturers are not liable if their weapon, or parts of weapons were used in a shooting or act of gun violence resulting in injury or death of a victim.

A new law that advanced in the Colorado General Assembly over the weekend looks to change this. SB23-168 focuses on opening up the civil court system to victims of gun violence to file civil lawsuits against "firearm industry members" and "firearm industry product".

"Firearm industry members" are defined in bill language as "A person, firm, corporation, or any other entity engaged in the manufacture, distribution, importation, marketing, or wholesale or retail sale of a firearm industry product", SB23-168.

"Firearm industry product" is defined in the bill below as:

"A FIREARM, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 18-1-901;
(b) AMMUNITION;
(c) A COMPLETED OR UNFINISHED FRAME OR RECEIVER;
(d) A FIREARM COMPONENT OR MAGAZINE;
(e) A DEVICE MARKETED OR SOLD TO THE PUBLIC THAT IS
DESIGNED OR ADAPTED TO BE INSERTED INTO, AFFIXED ONTO, OR USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A FIREARM, IF THE DEVICE IS:

(I) REASONABLY DESIGNED OR INTENDED TO BE USED TO INCREASE A FIREARM'S RATE OF FIRE, CONCEALABILITY, MAGAZINE CAPACITY, OR DESTRUCTIVE CAPACITY; OR

(II) REASONABLY DESIGNED OR INTENDED TO INCREASE THE FIREARM'S STABILITY AND HANDLING WHEN THE FIREARM IS REPEATEDLY FIRED; AND

(f) ANY MACHINE OR DEVICE THAT IS MARKETED OR SOLD TO THE PUBLIC, OR REASONABLY DESIGNED OR INTENDED TO BE USED TO;

1 MANUFACTURE OR PRODUCE A FIREARM OR ANY OTHER FIREARM
2 INDUSTRY PRODUCT AS DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION"

SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Order Petitions

The second law advanced by the Colorado General Assembly that now waits for Senate amendment approval concerns extreme risk protection orders, more commonly referred to as red flag laws.

As it stands under current Colorado law, only people considered close to someone, like a family member or law enforcement member can petition for an extreme risk protection order on an individual they deem to be a threat to others or the public.

The new law that waits on the Governor's signature would repeal the current law as it stands to expand the list of individuals who could petition for an extreme risk protection order.

If signed, the law would expand to medical care providers, licensed mental healthcare providers, licensed educators, and district attorneys.

Under an extreme risk protection order, the individual being served the order must surrender all of his or her firearms and his or her concealed carry permit if the respondent has one for a total of 364 days.

Both bills will be ready to be signed into law following Senate amendment approval that could come this week.

News 5 has reached out to sheriff's offices, local gun stores, and activist groups across southern Colorado seeking opinions and responses to these potential new gun laws.

Editors Note: The language in this article was changed to better reflect the legislative process in Colorado.

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