Federal Judge Blocks Colorado Gun Control Law

Colorado’s new gun control law instituting a minimum age to purchase a firearm of 21 is on hold after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Monday.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer cited last year’s landmark Bruen decision by the Supreme Court as justification.

This action struck at least a partial blow to sweeping anti-Second Amendment legislation enacted in Colorado. It also blocked enforcement of the law on the same day it was to take effect.

The legal challenge was brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) and two citizens. The statute declared it “unlawful for a person who is less than 21 years of age to purchase a firearm.”

It also specifically prohibited anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer to sell a firearm to a legal adult under 21.

RMGO cited two adults over 18 but under 21 who wished to legally purchase a firearm for self-defense. Both would be denied this right if SB 23-169 were allowed to take effect.

Brimmer directly quoted Bruen. “When the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.” He declared the government is required to show laws are consistent “with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation.”

His ruling was partially based on the constitutional definition of “the people.” Brimmer wrote that, using previous Second Amendment cases as precedent, he agreed with the assumption “that every American is included.”

RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes issued a statement saying since the introduction of the measure, his group knew it would not withstand judicial scrutiny. “RMGO warned the bill’s sponsors this would quickly be struck down by a federal judge. Today, our crystal ball became a reality.”

These laws limiting gun sales to legal adults are under fire in several states. Federal judges in Minnesota, Texas and Tennessee have ruled in recent years that state laws prohibiting these sales are unconstitutional.

A Virginia judge also scrapped a state ban on handgun sales to young adults. Federal appellate courts have ruled on both sides of the issue.

As for Colorado, the state came off a legislative session that saw more draconian gun control laws passed than any other year in the state’s history. In at least one case, it is for now on hold.