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Colorado Democrats introduce bill banning sales of ‘assault weapons’

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Second Amendment advocacy group, said it will fight the bill.

Published: March 4, 2023 2:50pm

Updated: March 5, 2023 6:37am

(The Center Square) -

Colorado Democrats have introduced a long-awaited bill that would ban the sale or purchase of “assault weapons” in the state.

House Bill 23-1230, introduced Friday night by Rep. Elisabeth Epps, D-Denver, and Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, adds to a list of firearm restriction bills that Democratic lawmakers have introduced this legislative session.

“A ban on knowingly manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of an assault weapon … in Colorado is in the best interest of the citizens of our state,” the bill’s legislative declaration reads.

The bill defines “assault weapons” by certain features – such as whether they have threaded barrels, pistol grips, or flash suppressors – rather than by manufacturer and model.

Violating the law, which would take effect on July 1, 2023, would be a class 2 misdemeanor, according to the bill’s text. The proposed ban exempts individuals in the military and law enforcement.

Republicans in the legislative minority pledged to fight against Democrats’ “legislative assaults” on the Second Amendment last month after bills were introduced to establish a three-day waiting period on gun purchases and raise the minimum age for firearm purchases to 21. Other bills seek to bolster the state’s “red flag law” and lift liability protections for firearm manufacturers.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Second Amendment advocacy group, said in a statement it will fight the bill “in the legislature and in the courts.”

“Gun bans, like this, are a direct infringement of both the United States and Colorado Constitutions and have been shown to have no positive effect on crime rates or deterrence of mass shootings,” said Taylor Rhodes, the group’s executive director.

“We are going to launch the largest legislative and legal opposition campaign this state has ever seen,” he added.

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