A Colorado gun reform law that will prohibit people under 21 years old from purchasing a gun will go into effect on Monday.
SB23-169, one of several sweeping gun reform measures approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor in the spring, will prohibit people under the age of 21 from purchasing a gun, with exceptions for active members of the U.S. armed forces, peace officers and people certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training board.
Local gun shops and shooting ranges say the new law might lower profit, but they are more worried about the people who will be unable to protect themselves.
“People under the age of 21 are no longer going to have the right to defend themselves with firearms,” DCF Guns store manager Kevin Day told Fox 21. “The best thing we can do is continue to educate the public.”
Some gun groups, including the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, have filed lawsuits against Democrat Gov. Jared Polis and the State of Colorado in an attempt to strike down the new law, The organization filed a Temporary Restraining Order to potentially prevent the law from going into effect, arguing that it is unconstitutional.
RMGO said if people are allowed to vote when they are 18, they should be allowed to purchase a gun.
“You can be drafted into the military. You can go and die for your country, but you can’t own a gun. That’s just wrong,” RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes told Fox 21.
State sponsors of the legislation said it is meant to protect young people, not to criminalize responsible gun owners.
“This isn’t trying to infringe on anybody’s rights … What it comes down to is saving lives, we know that youth suicide has increased,” Majority House Leader Monica Duran, Majority House Leader told the outlet. “We know domestic violence has increased.”
Duran, a Democrat, said limiting access to guns is a way to improve public safety.
“The easier it is to access something, the more likelihood that it can be used in a way that could be detrimental to not just our youth but our community,” she said.