Colorado bill would require waiting period for gun purchases

Colorado bill would require waiting period for gun purchases
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Over the last handful of years, Colorado has fully embraced gun control. Sure, they’re not as bad as California, but who is, really?

Yet the state most definitely appears to be headed in that direction despite high-profile failures of such policies.


The latest example? A bill wants to require a three-day waiting period for gun sales.

Highlands Ranch mother purchased a 9mm Glock handgun, picked up her 5-year-old son from kindergarten and killed him, his 3-year-old brother and herself in the loading dock of a shuttered Sports Authority store.

The tragedy unfolded over the span of just a few hours on a day in November 2016.

Colorado lawmakers want to prevent a similar series of events from happening with such haste and ease ever again, and so this week Democrats will introduce a bill that would enact a three-day waiting period between when someone purchases a gun and when they can access the weapon, mirroring policies that have been adopted in other states.

“It’s giving people the opportunity to take a breath,” said Sen. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat whose son, Alex, was murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and who will be a lead sponsor of the legislation. “We know that when people decide to kill themselves with a firearm, sometimes they spend less than 20 minutes making that decision.

It’s almost adorable that they think this was a spur-of-the-moment decision.

No, this was planned and likely premeditated. A waiting period likely wouldn’t have stopped such a murder. At most, it would have shifted the weapons used.

See, while a number of states have enacted waiting periods, we don’t necessarily see a decline in things like murders, suicides, or murder-suicides. At most, we see a reduction in those involving a firearm, but few if any lives are saved.


What we do see, though, are scared people who desperately want a gun because of a stalker or a threatening message that can’t get one for three days because some lawmaker saw a single story and thinks they can solve all the world’s ills by restricting people’s rights.

That’s what’s on the agenda in Colorado right now.

It’s not all that’s on the agenda, though.

The waiting-period bill, expected to be formally unveiled this week in the House, is part of a package of gun control measures Democrats are planning to introduce at the Capitol this year. Other legislation will seek to raise the age to purchase rifles and shotguns to 21 to match the policy for handguns, regulate homemade firearms that lack serial numbers — also known as “ghost guns” — and make it easier to sue gun manufacturers and sellers. Additionally, there will be a measure introduced that would expand who can petition a judge to order the temporary seizure of someone’s guns under the state’s so-called red flag law.

Several Democrats are also mulling whether to introduce a bill banning the sale and transfer of so-called assault weapons, which draft legislation defines as semi-automatic rifles and pistols with certain features. “If we do get the language right, you’ll see it. If we’re not able to get the language and the content right, you won’t see it,” Sen. Rhonda Fields, an Aurora Democrat and one of the lead sponsors of the prospective legislation, said at an event earlier this month.


In other words, Colorado is really trying to catch up with California on restricting people’s rights for some insane reason.

None of these measures would do a damn bit of good. After all, California just suffered through two high-profile mass shootings with a third that wasn’t reported as heavily, all within two days of one another. If gun control was going to work, none of that would have happened.

After all, California has all of these laws on the books.

If these laws aren’t working, why should any other state pass them? They shouldn’t.

But Colorado likely will, and that’s a sad testimony.

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