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Two new Colorado gun laws go in effect Sunday, how will this change purchasing a gun?

Posted at 7:08 PM, Sep 28, 2023

DENVER — Two new gun laws will go into effect in Colorado on Sunday. One of the laws will create a mandatory waiting period before the buyer can receive the gun. The second will make it easier for people to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Beginning on October 1st, House Bill 23-1219 will go into effect. People buying a firearm in Colorado will need to wait a minimum of three days before they can be given the weapon. This allows for a background check.

"We’re at a threat of a minimum of three days, is just a minimum, it could be a week, it could be two weeks, a month," said Taylor Rhodes, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

The group filed a lawsuit claiming the waiting period was unconstitutional.

"You don't have to wait three days to have a background check to vote. It is absurd that we are talking about waiting on a right, so that is what we are suing over,” said Rhodes.

But a federal judge did not agree. The judge denied Rocky Mountain Gun Owners trying to block the law going into effect because they could not prove it caused harm.

"The judge said we did not have standing yet, because we had not been harmed," said Rhodes.

The organization then withdrew the lawsuit, but they plan on filing again. The plaintiffs listed on the suit will be Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, and one of their members, Alicia Garcia.

"On Sunday my plan is to go to the gun shop with the plaintiff, and attempt to purchase a firearm," said Rhodes.

Rhodes said because of the new law, they will have to wait to get the weapon.

"We will then snap a photo, send it to our attorneys and file the lawsuit," said Rhodes.

Rhodes claims a waiting period violates his rights, but not everyone agrees. The organization Here 4 The Kids advocates for more gun law reforms.

"Gun violence is a public health issue," said Wolf Terry, an Organizer for Here 4 The Kids.

She said more needs to be done than a waiting period.

"You can't prevent gun violence when it is so embedded in the fabric of American society. The only way to truly end gun violence in America is to ban guns," said Terry.

The co-founder of Here 4 The Kids, Saira Rao, also released a statement.

"More legislation hasn’t stopped gun violence. In fact, with more and more legislation, we have more and more gun deaths. Why would we think more legislation – THIS LEGISLATION - would stop gun violence? It hasn’t - and it won’t. The only way to stop gun violence is to pull it out from the root. Abolition is the only way," said Rao.

The second law taking effect is SB23-168, the Gun Violence Victims' Access To Judicial System. It will help the families of gun violence victims file lawsuits against manufacturers and sellers. In the past, people who have lost such lawsuits have had to pay the defendant's legal bills. The new law removes that requirement.

Terry said she understands what the legislation is trying to do, but she is not convinced it will bring change.

“While they come from a place of compassion and sympathy towards families who have lost someone to gun violence, I think they fall short,” said Terry.

Terry said the state needs to do more than just pay back legal fees.

“Why not have legal services, that say hey you just lost a kid, here is all this information, we will have someone represent you in court,” said Terry.

Here 4 The Kids is holding a virtual event on Monday, October 2nd. They will address these two laws going into effect and the Biden administration. It is open to the public and people can RSVP.

Furthermore, Rhodes said if they have enough funding and cause, they will file a lawsuit over this law (SB23-168) too.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners filed a different lawsuit in August in regards to the gun law changing the legal age to buy a weapon, from 18 to 21. The federal judge for that lawsuit agreed with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.
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