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August 2, 2023

JOINT RELEASE: New Law Raising Minimum Age to Purchase a Firearm to 21 To Go Into Effect

Legislation will help prevent young people from committing gun violence, save lives in Colorado

DENVER, CO – New legislation that raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm in Colorado to 21 will go into effect on August 8.

SB23-169, sponsored by Senators Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and House Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, and Rep. Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial, raises the age limit to purchase any firearm to 21, with limited exceptions.

“Gun deaths in Colorado have been climbing higher and higher every year, and a disproportionate number of them are committed by younger Coloradans,” Mullica said. “As an ER nurse I’ve seen firsthand the devastating ways gun violence impacts our communities, which is why I am proud to champion this new law that will reduce gun violence and save lives all across our state.”

“As a survivor of gun intimidation, I am relieved that Colorado law now requires all gun purchasers to be at least 21 years old, which will help reduce senseless gun violence and make our communities safer,” Duran said. “With this new law going into effect, we can save countless lives from preventable firearm-related injuries or death and improve public safety.”

“Young people aged 12-24 make up one-fifth of the population, but commit just under half of all gun murders,” Danielson said. “Democrats are committed to doing everything we can to prevent gun violence in Colorado, and our new law will do just that. Raising the age to purchase a firearm will keep more deadly weapons away from our youth, reduce youth suicide rates, and make our communities safer.”

“Having been a teacher for over 30 years, I’ve seen how gun violence can interrupt and devastate our kids’ development and well-being,” Hamrick said. “Colorado kids deserve environments that encourage learning, free from gun violence that is much too common in our schools. As a teacher, parent, legislator, and community member, I am proud that our common sense gun violence prevention laws are going into effect soon to better protect our kids.”

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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