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New Colorado law requiring gun dealers to obtain $400 state permit to sell

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jun 10, 2024

COLORADO — Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Friday that requires firearms dealers to get a state permit to sell.

Gun dealers who sell, manufacture, or import firearms and ammunition must have a federal firearms license (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The new law requires an additional state permit on top of the FFL.

To be eligible for a state permit, the law says a dealer must have an FFL, not had a firearms license revoked, suspended, or denied within the past three years, and not have violated any state or federal firearms laws in the three years before applying for the license.

The law also requires employees to complete background checks every three years, theft prevention training, and random/regular inspections of stores. The state permit costs $400, which the law says will go toward the operational costs of issuing permits and conducting inspections.

State Sen. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, a prime sponsor of the bill, said the new permit law will crack down on illegal firearm sales. Her office said the licensing system gives the state the power to have oversight of gun shops in the absence of federal oversight.

“Due to the nature of their business, firearm dealers must be held to very high standards,” Sen. Michaelson Jenet said. “Requiring state licensure provides another check to make sure dealers are operating safely and in accordance with the law."

Richard Reiley builds and repairs rifles at his shop High Tech Custom Rifles in Colorado Springs. He said the new state permit is a useless fee for gun dealers and having a federal license should be enough.

"For the most part, most dealers that have a Federal Firearms License are not playing games, because there's jail time involved in that, you know. You play around with the feds, and, you know, you'd be getting yourself in some pretty good trouble," said Reiley.

He said the $400 permit fee could force him to pass more business costs on to customers.

"I'm not willing to shut my business down because of it, but I'm going to have to charge more. And that's not fair," he said.

The law requires gun dealers to obtain a state permit by July 1, 2025 or face a fine of up to $250,000.
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