NewsCovering Colorado


Rocky Mountain Gun Owners at center of federal judge's decision to block new Colorado gun law

"Our crystal ball, it came true," said the executive director of the group
Posted at 11:40 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-09 07:29:03-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — On Tuesday, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are celebrating what they call a win on a “hot button issue,” and others saying are they're disappointed with a federal judge’s decision.

It comes after Monday’s decision by a federal judge to block enforcement of Colorado's new law to raise the minimum age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21 years old. Some exceptions to the law included 18 to 20-year-olds who are peace officers or active-duty military. The law was supposed to go into effect Monday.

“We're extremely proud about today,” said Taylor Rhodes, the executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a gun owners advocacy group fighting and lobbying for gun rights in Colorado. “We told them under the golden dome, that this was going to be unconstitutional, and yesterday, our crystal ball, it came true."

It was also disappointment from anti-gun advocates and state lawmakers, who thought passing of this bill, would prevent gun violence. Colorado House Majority Leader Monica Duran was one of the prime sponsors for the bill. News5 spoke with her last week.

“My hope is that this is really going to make our community safer and save lives and we're going to educate folks on the importance,” said Representative Duran.

During last week’s conversation, News5 also asked Representative Duran about the bill being challenged. She responded with, “I’m not a lawyer, but we will just have to take it as it comes, and we will see if that comes to fruition and we’ll go from there.”

Last week, RMGO filed a temporary restraining order on the law calling it unconstitutional. The group already filed the preliminary injunction earlier this year after Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law.

Then on Monday, a federal judge agreed with the group saying the law violated second amendment protections. The court agreed that the second amendment includes the right to acquire firearms. The court also said the bill bans an entire group of law-abiding citizens from purchasing firearms based on age.

“Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is doing everything we can to stop them in their tracks and take back the freedoms that the tyrants under the golden dome stole from us,” said Rhodes. “Gun owners should not be treated like second class citizens, and that's what the legislature has has deemed gun owners.”

Rhodes said the group made promises to their members, and plan to sue on even more issues in the weeks and months ahead.

In a joint statement from Senator Kyle Mullica, Representative Eliza Hamrick, and Majority Leader Duran, they say:

“Increasing the age to purchase a firearm to 21 is commonsense policy that will prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe, and we disagree with the judge’s interpretation and are disappointed in the decision. We're proud of our work this year to pass several new laws that will reduce firearm deaths and save lives by expanding Colorado's "Red Flag Law", cracking down on ghost guns, holding gun manufacturers accountable and establishing a three-day waiting period to purchase a firearm.”

A spokesperson with Governor Polis’ office said: "Since 1968, federal law has required Coloradans to be 21 years old to purchase a pistol, but a loophole allowed kids under age 21 to legally buy a rifle instead. This law closes that loophole and the Governor hopes that the courts agree with him that the law is fully consistent with our second Amendment rights. The Governor is working towards his goal of making Colorado one of the ten safest states in the country — and the same age requirements for pistols and rifles would help support responsible gun ownership."

The law will now go to the courts to decide if it’s constitutional.

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