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In the shadow of another mass shooting, the latest in a Nashville school that has killed three children and three school staff, Colorado legislators appear to be moving forward with some common sense policies to help save lives, and create a safer Colorado.

Today, a bill sponsored by Senators Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, that would establish waiting periods for firearm purchases received final approval in the Colorado Senate.

HB23-1219 would create a minimum three-day waiting period, delaying immediate access to a firearm and saving Colorado lives from gun violence.

“Right now, if you want to get your hands on a gun, you can do so with near immediacy,” said Sullivan, who is serving in the legislature after loosing his son to gun violence in the Aurora Theater mass shooting. “Whether you intend to harm yourself or others, waiting periods on firearm purchases delay immediate access to weapons and cut down on impulsive acts of violence. I’m proud to champion this legislation that will save lives and create safer communities for all Coloradans.”

“A cooling-off period could be the difference between life and death for a person in the midst of a mental health crisis,” said Hansen. “This legislation is backed by research and will reduce gun deaths by suicide and homicide. I’m incredibly proud of Colorado’s leadership on this issue and am eager to continue to take meaningful steps forward, like implementing a three-day waiting period, to reduce the epidemic of gun violence.”

Current law mandates that a background check is completed before a firearm can be transferred, which often takes less than three days. HB23-1219 would require a gun seller to wait for an approved background check or three days from the initiation of the background check, whichever is later, to deliver a firearm. Creating a waiting period delays immediate access to firearms and can help prevent impulsive acts of violence, including suicides, homicides, and assaults.

This is not something gun owners resent. In fact, 72 percent of all gun owners support a mandatory waiting period before a gun purchase.

Research shows that creating a waiting period for purchasing a firearm has led to a 7 to 11 percent reduction in suicides by firearm and a 17 percent reduction in firearm-related homicides.

In 2020, Colorado had the seventh-highest suicide rate in the U.S. In 2021, there were 740 suicides by firearm in Colorado, accounting for more than half of all suicides in the state.

The legislation establishes a waiting period prior to transferring a firearm. If a firearm is transferred prior to the expiration of the waiting period this bill would make it a civil infraction punishable by a $500 fine for the first offense, and a $500 to $5,000 fine for a second or any subsequent offenses.

The bill would not apply to antique firearms. It also exempts the transfer of a firearm between an active duty military service member who is set to deploy overseas and their family.

HB23-1219 will now move to the House to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the amendments to the bill. More information is available HERE.

Featured image: weapons seized by Denver Police at a 2020 protest from boogaloo boy Chevy McGee and his friend. Courtesy 9news.