By Chris Morley
In the face of escalating violent crime and mass shootings, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has enacted four new gun control measures. The legislation was signed into law despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that broadened Second Amendment rights and ongoing lawsuits by gun rights groups aiming to overturn two of the bills: one raising the minimum age for firearm purchase from 18 to 21, and another establishing a three-day waiting period between the purchase and receipt of a gun.
The measures include strengthening the state's red flag law and reducing some legal protections for the firearm industry. The enhanced red flag law permits doctors, mental health professionals, and teachers to request a judge to temporarily remove someone's firearm, a power previously mainly limited to law enforcement and family members. The objective is to intervene proactively before suicide attempts or violent acts occur.
By increasing the minimum age to buy firearms to 21, Colorado aligns with California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and Rhode Island. This action responds to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that gun violence has surpassed vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among children and teenagers. Lastly, a new measure enables victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers, a legislation similar to those passed in California, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. While opponents argue this could lead to baseless lawsuits, it gives a new avenue of legal recourse to those affected by gun violence.