Swing State Democrats Enact Sweeping Protections Against Gun Violence In New Win

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Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, has signed a series of bills into law imposing new protections against gun violence. Like other jurisdictions, Colorado has been among those to suffer a mass shooting in recent months and years. Late last year, a nightclub catering to the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs was the site of an attack where five died.

The new legislation included a bill raising the minimum age for possessing firearms, with accompanying restrictions on purchases, although exceptions — like for service in the military — were included. Hunting and other outdoor activities were also included in the list of exceptions. In general, raising the age for purchasing firearms has already been pursued elsewhere as a response to gun violence and could be critical. Although some Republicans have clamored against the move, Florida authorities made a similar adjustment after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, and in Texas, the attacker who perpetrated a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde was a teenager — and legally obtained a weapon used in the incident, meaning changing the laws could’ve meant it never happened.

Other new restrictions include limits on providing those under 21 with firearms. There were already limits on providing firearms to minors, but the updates eliminate the necessity to prove doing so was intentional and knowing in bringing a case. Instead, if the firearm is transferred, the rules apply, and that’s that.

Polis also signed an expansion of the state’s framework around available court orders imposing temporary limits on the ability of someone deemed to be dangerous to possess a firearm. The changes add other groups of people to the list of those who can seek the orders. Additional groups include “licensed medical care providers, licensed mental health-care providers, licensed educators, and district attorneys,” a summary said.

Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons