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April 21, 2024

House Passes Bill to Require Permit to Sell a Firearm

Legislation would require responsible business practices to sell firearms to help prevent gun violence, reduce crime and crack down on the illegal sale of guns and firearm components like high-capacity magazines

DENVER, CO - The House today passed legislation to reduce gun violence, crack down on illegal firearm sales, and prevent crime by requiring firearm dealers to hold a state license. HB24-1353 passed by a vote of 40-21.

“From hairdressers and auto dealers to liquor store owners and many other professions, state licenses are required to conduct business, and we believe that people who sell firearms should be held to the same standard,” said Rep. Emily Sirota, D-Denver. “Our bill would establish a state permitting system for firearm dealers, require dealers and employees to undergo training to better identify suspicious activity, and ensure compliance with business standards to prevent illegal firearm sales. Dealers who violate state laws could lose their permit to sell firearms, preventing illegal guns and components from being circulated in our communities. This bill sets firearm dealers up for success to help us reduce gun violence and crime in our communities.”

"A statewide permitting process for firearm sales allows the state to thoroughly vet and inspect firearm dealers, ensuring they have taken necessary steps to reduce crime and prevent gun violence," said Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins. "Training requirements for the proper storage of firearms, background checks, and identifying potentially dangerous behavior will help keep guns out of the hands of people who may otherwise harm themselves or someone else. This is an important gun violence prevention bill that will equip Colorado firearm dealers and their employees with safety training and protocols that can save lives.”

Starting July 1, 2025, HB24-1353 would require firearm dealers in Colorado to hold a state firearms dealer permit in order to sell guns in Colorado. Operating without this permit would be an unclassified felony punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.

Firearm dealers would apply through the Department of Revenue and must hold a valid federal firearm license to be eligible for a state firearms dealer permit. Additionally, applicants will not be eligible for the permit if they have an adverse licensing action taken for good cause by the federal government or any state within three years of applying. They will also be ineligible if they have been convicted of a violation of any state or federal law regarding the possession or sale of firearms. 

Other requirements for receiving a state firearms dealer permit include:

  • Finger-printed background checks for employees every 3 years,

  • Training on how to prevent theft and identify straw purchasers, fraudulent activities, and people at risk of self-harm. An exam on this training would also be required before an applicant is granted a permit,

  • Random and regular inspections to ensure firearms dealers are complying with state and federal law,

  • Firearm sales to only occur during business hours, except during a gun show, and

  • Contacting law enforcement to report a suspicious person who tried to unlawfully purchase a firearm within 48 hours of the incident.

Studies show that policies regulating firearm dealer licensing can lead to significant reductions in gun violence, including gun homicides and suicides. After Connecticut passed a similar law, its firearm homicide rate fell by 28 percent and firearm suicide rate decreased by 33 percent.

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