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Understand how a bill becomes a law in Colorado.


Contact your legislators by phone call or email.  Your message can ensure that legislators who may only be listening to the NRA know that their voters have a different opinion. 


Ready to voice your opinion at the state capitol? Click below to learn how.

Colorado State Legislature
2023 Results

The Colorado Legislature adjourned May 8th, 2023 and will not reconvene until January 10th, 2024. 
Click here to view Colorado Ceasefire’s Summary Status Sheet of 2023 Colorado Legislation and Selected Federal Legislation.

HB23-1219 Waiting Period to Deliver a Firearm – Strongly Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 4/28/2023. (Reps. Meg Froelich and Judy Amabile, Sens. Tom Sullivan and Chris Hansen). Requires a 3-day waiting period before transfer of a firearm. Effective 10/1/2023 unless referendum petition is filed by 8/7/2023.

HB23-1222 Jurisdiction of Municipal Courts to Hear Domestic Violence Offenses – Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 5/25/2023. Reps. Monica Duran and Mike Weissman, Sen. Dylan Roberts). Would require municipal courts to take actions similar to county courts on domestic violence cases. Effective 1/1/2024 unless referendum petition is filed by 8/7/2023.

SB23-168 Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Judicial System – Strongly Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 4/28/2023. (Sens. Sonya Jaquez-Lewis and Chris Kolker, Reps. Javier Mabrey and Jennifer Parenti). Repeals the Gun Industry Immunity law of 1986 and 2000. Effective Date 10/1/2023.

SB23-169 Increasing Minimum Age to Purchase and Possess Firearms – Strongly Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 4/28/2023. (Sens. Kyle Mullica, Jessie Danielson, Reps. Monica Duran and Eliza Hamrick). Increases the legal age to purchase, possess, sell or transfer a firearm. Effective 8/7/2023 unless referendum petition filed by 8/7/2023.

SB23-170 Extreme Risk Protection Orders Expansion – Strongly Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 4/28/2023. (Sens. Tom Sullivan and Stephen Fenberg, Reps. Jennifer Bacon and Mike Weissman). Expands list of ERPO petitioners to include DA’s and designees, AG and designees, health and mental health professionals, and educators. Effective upon Governor’s signature 4/28/2023.

To learn more with talking points, click on 2023 CO Ceasefire Fact Sheet.SB23-170.Expand ERPO Reporters

SB23-279 Ghost Guns (Unserialized Firearms and Components) – Strongly Support

Status: Signed by Governor Polis 6/2/2023. (Sens. Rhonda Fields and Chris Hansen, Reps. Andrew Boesenecker and Junie Joseph). Requires that all firearms and components are serialized. Provides mechanism for serializing by 1/1/2024. Bans machine gun conversion devices.



 HB23-1044 Second Amendment Preservation Act – Strongly Oppose 

Status: Postponed Indefinitely* on 8-2-1 party-line vote on 2/6/2023. (Rep. Ken DeGraaf). Moves interpreting the second amendment from the Supreme Court to the state legislature. Provides $50,000 fines to jurisdictions that enforce laws that tax, prohibit, register or confiscate firearms or accessories. Would thereby nullify large capacity magazine ban and ERPO (red flag) laws. Similar bills have appeared in other states. Violates U.S. Constitution Supremacy Clause.

HB23-1050 – Use of Deadly Force in Business – Strongly Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely on 8-2-1 party-line vote on 2/6/2023. (Rep. Ty Winter). Would allow a manager, employee or anyone
with in lawful possession of a firearm to use deadly force against an intruder in a business location if they felt threatened, no matter how slight. This is a Stand Your Ground bill. Think of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, and you’ve got the idea. This is the seventeenth year this type of bill has been defeated. 2023 Colorado and Federal
HB23-1092 – Limiting Use of State Monies – Oppose
Status: Postponed Indefinitely in Finance 11-0 on 2/6/2023 at Sponsor’s request. (Rep. Rod Bockenfeld). Would prohibit state money from being used to further social, political, or ideological interests, and would affect PERA investment decisions. Furthermore, it would require a government contract to verify that it would not engage in economic boycott of another company for those same interests. Included firearms as an issue. Similar bills are appearing in other states.
HCR23-1003 Referendum for Constitutional Amendment for Permitless CCW – Strongly Oppose
Status: Defeated in House State Affairs by party-line vote of 7-3. (Reps. Matt Soper). Would put to the voters a question of adding to Colorado’s constitution a right to permitless concealed carry.
*A bill that is ‘Postponed Indefinitely’ cannot be brought back up under the same bill number.

HB23-1165 Firearm Discharges in Counties – Support

Status: Passed House on 3rd reading on 2/16/2023 36-27-2. Postponed Indefinitely*  by Senate Local Government and Housing Committee on 5/4/2023. (Reps. Judy Amabile and Karen McCormick, Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis). Expands the capabilities of county commissioners to designate unincorporated areas of a county where it is unlawful to discharge firearms. This is both a safety and noise issue.

HB23-1230 Assault Weapons Ban – Strongly Support
Status: Defeated in House Judiciary 4/19 by vote of 6-7. (Rep. Elizabeth Epps, Sen. Rhonda Fields). Prohibits the manufacture, sale, importation, purchase or transfer of an assault weapon and prohibits the possession of a rapid-fire trigger activator.
SB23-022 Add vehicular theft to POWPO-eligible felonies – Support
Status: Passed Senate 3rd reading 3/15/2023, 29-5-1 Passed House Judiciary on 4/25/2023 by vote of 8-5. Died on the calendar 5/8/2023. (Sen. Nick Hinrichsen, Rep. Shannon Bird) Adds aggravated vehicular theft to the list of felonies that are POWPO-eligible (Possession of Weapon by a Previous Offender).

A bill that is ‘Postponed Indefinitely’ cannot be brought back up under the same bill number.

Federal Legislation
118th Congress

Already, there are 145 firearms-related bills introduced in Congress. This is a selection of prominent ones.

H.R. 625 Regulate Large Capacity Magazines – Strongly Support

Status: Diana DeGette is prime sponsor, has 137 cosponsors including Crow, Pettersen and Neguse

H.R. 660 and S. 173 Safe Storage (Ethan’s Law) – Strongly Support

Status: House bill has 203 cosponsors including Caraveo, Crow, DeGette, Neguse and Pettersen. Senate bill has 32 cosponsors including Bennet and Hickenlooper.

H.R. 698 and S. 25 Assault Weapons Ban – Strongly Support

Status: House bill has 205 cosponsors including Crow, DeGette, Neguse, Pettersen and Caraveo. Senate bill has 42 cosponsors including Bennet and Hickenlooper.

H.R. 715 and S. 494 Universal Background Checks – Strongly Support

Status: House bill has 205 cosponsors including Caraveo, Crow, DeGette, Neguse and Pettersen. Senate has 47 including Bennet and Hickenlooper.

S. 14 Minimum Age for gun purchase – Support

Status: has 24 cosponsors. Sets minimum age for assault weapons and large capacity magazine purchase to 21.

H.R. 38 and S. 214 Federally Mandated Concealed Carry (CCW) Reciprocity – Strongly Oppose

Status: Introduced. House bill has 162 cosponsors, including Lamborn, and Buck. Senate bill has 44 c-sponsors, none from Colorado. Would mandate that every state honor CCW permits from other states and also people from permitless states. House bill would allow someone denied a permit in Colorado to get one in a state that doesn’t require residency, would allow individuals to take their guns into K-12 schools, and to sue law officers or political subdivision if they are arrested or detained.

H.R. 151 and HR 646 and S. 163 Remove short-barreled shotguns from National Firearms Act of 1934 – Strongly Oppose

Status: HR151 has 37 cosponsors, including Buck and Boebert and HR646 has 45 cosponsors, including Boebert. Senate bill has 20 cosponsors.

H.R. 152 Hearing Protection Act and S. 401 – Strongly Oppose

Status: House bill has 65 cosponsors, including Buck and Boebert. Senate had 28 cosponsors. Removes silencers from the National Firearms Act of 1934.

How a bill becomes law in the Colorado Legislature

Can only submit 5 bills each session, unless granted permission by leadership.

Must submit bills by a specified date, unless granted permission by leadership for a late bill.

Finds a supportive legislator in the other chamber as a sponsor and lines up co-sponsors.

Works with legislative services to draft language consistent with state statute.

Legislators are anxious to pass bills under their own names to demonstrate to their constituents their commitment to working for the good of Colorado and their district.

In Colorado the title of a bill is extremely important and legislators are careful in how they craft the title. Under the Colorado constitution, a measure cannot cover more than one issue. Additionally, the bill cannot be amended unless the amendment conforms with the title. Unfriendly amendments have even occurred which erased the bill entirely and replaced it with new language. Sometimes amendments are applied which have strategic intent for election purposes.

First reading is when the bill is read across by the clerk in the first chamber of reference (house or senate).

The bill is then assigned to a committee of reference by the majority leadership of the chamber. Sometimes the leadership will assign the bill to several committees. State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee is often used by the leadership for bills they do not want to see continue.

All bills with a fiscal note must be approved by the Appropriations Committee before going to the “committee of the whole” (the house or senate chamber). Appropriations can defeat the bill for any reason, not just monetary. No testimony is taken at Appropriations.

The committee of reference takes public testimony and discusses the bill. It will consider amendments and then vote whether or not to approve the bill.

Bills that are approved by a majority of the committee then go on to the next committee of reference, which could be another committee or the committee of the whole.

Bills that fail to receive a majority of votes in committee are usually considered for postponing indefinitely (PI). Bills that are PI’ed are dead for the session.

Committee hearings (except Appropriations) generally occur in the afternoons or after adjournment of the Committee of the Whole. They also have a set meeting weekly schedule, although this may all change towards the end of the session.

Only rarely will a committee meet on Friday.

Occurs with the Committee of the Whole (entire House or Senate).

Bills, as amended by committee(s), are presented to the entire chamber and are debated.

Citizens may observe from the gallery, but no public testimony is taken.

Bills can be amended at 2nd reading.

When a vote is taken, if the bill is defeated, it is considered dead (although occasionally there is a parliamentary move to reconsider).

The votes on second reading are not recorded, unless someone does a parliamentary maneuver to ensure recording of the votes.

In order to obtain approval of a chamber, the bill must be approved on a 3rd reading.

Therefore, every legislator has an opportunity to rethink his or her vote on a bill (and sometimes get an earful from the citizenry).

It is generally considered bad form to offer amendments to a third reading of a bill, and legislators have to receive permission of the chamber to offer one.

3rd reading votes are final and are recorded. Votes appear in the journal of the chamber.

After the bill passes 3rd reading, it then proceeds to the other chamber for the same 3 readings. The successful amendments from the first chamber are incorporated into an “engrossed” bill.

After a bill passes 3rd reading in the second chamber, it heads to the Governor for his signature or veto, unless the 2nd chamber or committees amended the bill. Those Amended bills are sent back to the first chamber, where a concurrence vote is sought.

If the first chamber does not concur with the changes applied by the second chamber, a conference committee is appointed to work out the differences. The bill that emerges from the conference committee must be approved by both chambers before heading to the Governor.

Governor may choose to sign, veto, or take no action on a bill.

A bill becomes law if:

  • Governor signs
  • 2/3 of each chamber overrides the Governor’s veto
  • Governor fails to sign after 10 days during session or 30 days after legislature adjourns.

In mid-March legislative attention turns to the state budget and the Long bill (because it is very long). This bill funds the entire state government. The Long bill is a product of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), a powerful bipartisan committee that works closely all session focused on the state budget.