This legislative session, anti-gun politicians in the Colorado General Assembly have made gun control a top priority. As a responsible gun owner and school shooting survivor, I’m sorry to say that none of this year’s legislation will make anyone safer. It will only undermine the God-given rights of law-abiding citizens.
Proponents of the bill to increase the minimum age to purchase rifles from 18 to 21, which has passed both chambers of the Legislature, argue that it will prevent mass shootings. However, the median age of mass shooters is 32. Some have been as old as 72. The facts don’t justify labeling an entire demographic of adults “too dangerous” to own firearms.
At the age of 18, young men and women are old enough to get married and start a family. Parents have the right, indeed the duty, to defend their children from harm, but if Gov. Jared Polis signs this bill, the children of young parents will be defenseless.
Another bill, which has passed through both chambers and is awaiting the governor’s decision, mandates a three-day waiting period to purchase a firearm. This would be a fatal mistake. Take for example a woman who just escaped an abusive relationship and is ready to reassert control over her own life. She might have children to protect and an abusive ex who is threatening to harm them. Three days might as well be an eternity.
According to an adage of Albert Einstein’s, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That sums up the expansion of the red flag law. The year after Colorado passed the original red flag law in 2019, there was an increase in gun-related homicides. The measure failed to do what supporters said it would. Their solution: another red flag law, which recently passed both chambers of the Legislature.
If someone hits another person on the head with a hammer, we hold the assailant responsible, not Makita nor Harbor Freight. But legislators recently passed a bill through the Senate and House to hold gun manufacturers and retailers liable for the actions of criminals. This legislation is not only unfair. It’s dangerous. By making business untenable for legitimate manufacturers and retailers, this bill will have the unintended consequence of propping up black market gun-dealers.
A bill which passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate would allow county governments to prohibit shooting on private property. For generations, rural Coloradans have shot target practice and taught their children about responsible gun ownership on their own land. It’s a harmless practice that fosters a culture of responsible gun ownership. If passed, the bill could have a profoundly negative effect on the lifestyle and heritage of rural Coloradans. It will also reduce the number of responsible gun owners. To make Colorado safer, we need more responsible gun owners, not fewer.
A ban on unserialized firearms, as proposed in a bill making its way through the Senate before going to the House, would be impossible to enforce. Supporters of the bill claim it will reduce crime. This argument relies on the false idea that criminals will check to make sure their guns have serial numbers before using them in a stick-up.
The recently defeated bill to ban “assault weapons” was not merely an attempted infringement on the Second Amendment, but an attempt to repeal it. The bill aimed to outlaw every semi-automatic center-fire rifle and handgun capable of accepting a magazine. It would have banned the firearms commonly used for self-defense.
The Colorado State Shooting Association rallied huge numbers of citizens to oppose the “assault weapons” ban. We were glad to see it defeated.
Unfortunately, the next egregious bill is always right around the corner.
Gun-control measures are attacks on the right to self-defense, which is derived from the God-given right to life — the most fundamental right we have, and one acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence.
By assaulting the Second Amendment, anti-gun politicians assault the right to life. Whatever their intentions, this year’s spate of anti-gun legislation will cost innocent lives.
Daniel Fenlason is the executive director of the Colorado State Shooting Association (the NRA’s state association). Learn more at cssa.org.