Colorado Democrats are saying they’re proud of their work on gun safety and disappointed in a federal court decision Monday blocking a law that would have stopped people under 21 years old from possessing or buying a firearm.

“Increasing the age to purchase a firearm to 21 is commonsense policy that will prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe, and we disagree with the judge’s interpretation and are disappointed in the decision,” said State Sen. Kyle Mullica (D-Thornton), state Rep. Monica Duran (D-Wheat Ridge) and state Rep. Eliza Hamrick (D-Arapahoe County) in a joint statement Monday. “We’re proud of our work this year to pass several new laws that will reduce firearm deaths and save lives by expanding Colorado’s ‘Red Flag Law’, cracking down on ghost guns, holding gun manufacturers accountable and establishing a three-day waiting period to purchase a firearm.”


Colorado Republicans had long opposed the measure, chalking up the law to the “Democrats’ war on the 2nd Amendment.”

Hamrick had promised during her election campaign to “work for basic gun safety laws that prevent mass shootings that we’ve seen too many times to count.”

In an Aug. 7 fundraising email to supporters, Taylor Rhodes, director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), a far-right gun group that filed the lawsuit, emailed supporters: “Frankly, I’m embarrassed that it took this much effort to stop it. Because we were this close to living in a state where a grown man or woman can go to war, fight and lay their life on the line for their country, but they can’t come home and legally purchase a firearm.”

The summary of the law states, “Current law allows a person who is 18 years of age or older to knowingly possess or purchase a firearm. The act increases the age to legally purchase a firearm to 21 years of age or older. The act makes the unlawful purchase of a firearm by a person who is less than 21 years of age a class 2 misdemeanor and makes it unlawful for a licensed or unlicensed gun dealer to facilitate such a sale.”

The law would have gone into effect Tuesday, but the judge’s ruling means that it will be on hold until the RMGO lawsuit is resolved. Judge Philip A. Brimmer, a Bush appointee, wrote that the RMGO will likely succeed in its challenge of the law and so a temporary injunction stopping the statute was granted.