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Gun purchase waiting period bill clears House hurdle after hours-long debate

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Derek Draplin

(The Center Square) – A bill that would institute a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases in Colorado was passed in the House of Representatives after an hours-long debate that went into early Friday morning. 

House Bill 23-1219 would only allow firearm purchases in the state “three days after a licensed gun dealer has initiated a background check of the purchaser.” The bill still faces at least one more vote before further advancing.

Democrats argue the bill, which is one of several gun restriction bills making its way through the Legislature, would reduce gun violence.

“A 3-day waiting period requirement for the purchase of a firearm is commonsense, evidence-based policy supported by 72% of Coloradans,” Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, said in a written statement. “We’re here to deliver on our promise to pass legislation that protects more Coloradans from becoming victims of senseless gun violence.”

Republicans mounted a filibuster, proposing several amendments to the bill.

One amendment that was proposed but failed would have made an exception from the firearm purchase waiting period for victims of violent crimes under the Victim Rights Act.

“In case you’re not familiar with the VAR crime list, these are the most heinous crimes committed in Colorado … these are the worst crimes that can happen to an individual,” said Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta, who proposed the amendment.

“In this particular instance, that victim should be able to immediately go down and – assuming they pass the background check because that’s still in place – they should be able to purchase a firearm for their self-defense,” he added.

Lawmakers are also considering bills on expanding the state’s “red flag” gun law, lift legal protections on gun manufacturers, and raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21. Democrats also introduced an assault weapons sales ban last week.