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Four gun bills signed into law April 28

Colorado Governor Polis signs SB23 168, 169, 170 and HB23-1219

For details on these bills, click the links above, and also click here for our Colorado Ceasefire Fact Sheet. You can download the fact sheet; it is an overview of each bill.

Colorado Ceasefire News Release, April 28, 2023

(Above) Tom Mauser, father of Columbine High School shooting victim Daniel Mauser, left, Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Aurora theater shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, and gun control supporters gather after Gov. Jared Polis signed four gun control bills at Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver, Colorado on Friday, April 28, 2023. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

SB23-168, 169, and 170 and HB23- were signed into law April 28, 2023 by Governor Jared Polis. This milestone received international media coverage. 

This was a significant milestone year of legislative efforts by Colorado Ceasefire’s legislative action board members and volunteers who attended marathon hours of testimony in addition to presenting testimony, and preparing gun violence survivors in presenting their testimony. We deeply appreciate all of these efforts in addition to those by members of the Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence, including our long-time mission partners Colorado Faith Communities United Against Gun Violence (, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Moms Demand Action, and so many more.

A summary of the four bills:

SB23-168 Immunity Repeal

Sponsors:  Sens. Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Chris Kolker, Reps. Javier Mabrey and Jennifer Parenti 

Repeals Colorado’s severe gun industry immunity law protecting gun manufacturers, dealers and distributors.

  • Prior to the signing of this bill, individuals who sue over egregious actions are held liable for defendant’s legal costs. 
  • Santa Fe High School (Texas 2018, 10 fatally shot) shooting might have been prevented if Lucky Gunner (an online dealer) had been stopped by the Phillips’ Aurora Theater lawsuit. 
  • There is still a federal PLCAA law (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms), but it is less onerous than Colorado’s current law. 

SB23-169 Minimum Age for Firearm Purchase

Sponsors:  Sens. Kyle Mullica and Jessie Danielson, Reps. Monica Duran and Eliza Hamrick 

Establishes a minimum age of 21 for purchase of both handguns and long guns (rifles and shotguns).

  • Current federal regulations:  21 for handgun, 18 for long gun. 
  • Six of nine worst mass shootings (2018-2022) were by persons 21 years old and younger. 
  • 18–20-year-olds comprise 4% of population, but 17% of homicide offenders.1

  • States that raised the legal age experienced a 9% decline in suicides for 18–20-year-olds, and a decrease in unintentional deaths.2

SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Sponsors:  Sens. Tom Sullivan and Stephen Fenberg, Reps. Jennifer Bacon and Mike Weissman 

Expands the list of petitioners to include Colorado’s attorney general, district attorneys, educators, health care and mental health care professionals. 

  • Family members, law enforcement and the newly added petitioners with this new law may now petition the court to remove access to firearms for a person who is dangerous to self or others. 
  • 19 other states and the District of Columbia also have ERPO laws. 

HB23-1219 – Waiting Periods

Sponsors:  Reps. Meg Froelich and Judy Amabile, Sens. Tom Sullivan and Chris Hansen 

Establishes a 3-day waiting period between the time a background check begins and the time of completion of the purchase or transfer.

  • Nine states have waiting periods from 3-10 days. 
  • Cooling off period reduces handgun homicides by 17% and gun suicides by 6%.3
  • 75% of Americans support a waiting period for all guns.4


  1. Giffords:  Data from FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports. 
  2. Webster et al., “Association between youth focused firearm laws and youth suicide,”  JAMA (295)5  594-601.
  3. Luca et al., “Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths,”  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, V. 114 No. 46 (Fall 2017). 
  4.  Quinnipiac University Poll, 2/20/2018.