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June 2, 2023

SIGNED! Legislation to Prevent Gun Violence, Crack Down on Ghost Guns Becomes Law

SB23-279 will prohibit the possession, sale, or transfer of unserialized firearms, frames, and receivers

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation aimed at preventing further gun violence and cracking down on “ghost guns” into law. Sponsored by Senators Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Representatives Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins, and Junie Joseph, D-Boulder, SB23-279 prohibits the possession, sale, or transfer of an unserialized firearm, frame or receiver. It also prohibits manufacturing a frame or receiver, unless done by a federally licensed firearm manufacturer, including via a 3D printer.

Ghost guns are unregulated, untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home, often through DIY kits or downloadable blueprints. They are designed to avoid all gun laws, and are available to purchase without a background check, serial number, sale record, or other protections.

“Ghost guns are untraceable, unserialized weapons that anyone can make or assemble in their own home - and they’re extremely dangerous,” Fields said. “We worked hard this session to make Colorado safer and prevent gun violence, and this new law is a big step towards reaching that goal. I’m proud to champion this legislation that will prevent ghost guns from causing further violence in our communities and create a safer Colorado for us all.”

"Colorado Democrats have passed significant gun violence prevention legislation in recent years, but ghost guns bypass these life-saving firearm protections and make our communities more vulnerable to gun violence,” Boesenecker said. “Unserialized guns allow for dangerous individuals to possess a firearm and makes it harder for victims to seek accountability for gun crimes. With this new law, Colorado is cracking down on unserialized firearm parts so we can save more lives from senseless gun violence and improve accountability for victims and their families."

“Right now it’s far too easy for young people in Colorado and others who shouldn’t possess firearms to access them, and ghost guns are a huge part of that problem,” Hansen said. “Nearly anyone can order the parts or have them 3D printed, and within minutes have access to a fully functional, untraceable firearm. By cracking down on ghost guns, we will get these dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, reducing gun violence and increasing safety across our state.”

"Too many Coloradans have been affected by gun violence, and ghost guns are becoming increasingly prevalent in crime scenes,” Joseph said. “Through DIY kits or 3D printers, anyone can access a ghost gun on demand without going through the background check process. Our new commonsense law will prevent ghost guns from being in the hands of those seeking to harm themselves or others and keep our communities safer by limiting access to dangerous and untraceable firearms."

Under the bill, if an individual has an unserialized firearm, frame or receiver, they have until January 1, 2024 to have it serialized. It also prohibits the possession of a “machine gun conversion device” which turns a firearm into a machine gun and imposes the same penalties as in current law for possessing a machine gun.

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