LEGISLATION WILL HELP PREVENT YOUNG PEOPLE FROM COMMITTING GUN VIOLENCE, SAVE LIVES IN COLORADO
DENVER, CO – Legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm in Colorado to 21 was signed into law today.Under current federal law individuals must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun, but only 18 years old to purchase long guns. SB23-169, sponsored by Senators Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and House Minority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, and Rep. Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial, would raise the age limit to purchase any firearm to 21 with limited exceptions.
“Gun deaths in Colorado climb 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.”
“Gun violence is traumatic for anyone to experience, let alone for a child or young adult,” Duran said. “As a survivor of domestic violence and gun intimidation at a young age, I know firsthand how critical it is to prevent our youth from being put in a life or death situation because a firearm was too easily accessible. By increasing the minimum age to purchase a gun, we can prevent suicides and gun violence and keep our Colorado kids and communities safer.”
“Young people aged 12-24 make up one-fifth of the population, but commit just under half of all gun murders,” Danielson said. “There is an urgent need to do more to prevent gun violence in Colorado, and I am proud to champion this legislation that does 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, so many of my students have grown up fearing the constant threat of gun violence – sadly, they are known as the lockdown generation,” Hamrick said. “From countless active shooter events to losing peers to suicide, Colorado youth are forced to grapple with gun violence from a very young age. I’m proud of the work we’ve done to implement this commonsense gun violence prevention policy into Colorado law to keep firearms away from our youth and our children, making our schools and communities safer.”
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.