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March 27, 2023

House Advances Bill to Raise Minimum Purchase Age of Firearms

DENVER, CO - The House today advanced a bill on a preliminary vote to raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm in Colorado to 21 years old. 

“As someone who has lived under the threat of gun violence, I want to do everything I can to prevent other people from experiencing the trauma that I’ve had to endure,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “By raising the legal age to purchase a firearm to 21, we can save the lives of our children, friends and neighbors from preventable firearm-related injuries or death. This is a crucial step to reduce suicide rates that are far too high and prevent gun violence in our communities.”

“As a teacher of over 30 years, I’ve experienced countless lockdowns and wondered how I could protect every single one of my students from an active shooter on my own,” said Rep. Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial. “Developing brains are not fully ready to evaluate risks, regulate emotion or implement self-control, which means youth access to firearms is more likely to lead to violence. Our students, educators and school personnel deserve to be safe. While no single piece of legislation will end gun violence, this bill will make our schools and communities safer for us all.”

Currently, individuals must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun, but only 18 years old to purchase long guns. SB23-169 would raise the age limit to purchase any firearm to 21. The bill includes exceptions for 18-21 year olds to purchase a firearm who are on-duty peace officers or active military members.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, firearms are the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S. ages 18 to 20, and the firearm suicide rate among this group has increased a staggering 61 percent in the last decade.

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