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Colorado Raises Firearm Purchase Age to 21 & Implements 3-Day Waiting Period

Written by Orchid


May 08, 2023


White text atop red background next to Colorado state flag

Last month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a package of gun control bills into law in an attempt to make the Centennial State “one of the ten safest states in the country and combat gun violence.” Once enacted, Colorado will become the tenth state in the U.S. to raise the minimum legal firearm purchase age to 21 and the 11th to implement a waiting period prior to delivering a firearm.

Below is a summary of the recently signed bills:

Colorado Gun Control Bills

SB 169: Increasing Minimum Age to Purchase Firearms
Effective August 5, 2023, Colorado Senate Bill 23-169 will raise the minimum age to purchase and possess all firearms from 18 to 21 years of age, with specific exceptions, including retail transfers/sales and private party transfers – which must be processed by a licensed FFL in the state.

Exceptions to the law include:

  • Active members of the U.S. armed forces
  • Peace officers
  • Individuals certified by the P.O.S.T. board

Transferring or selling a firearm in violation of the new law is a class 1 misdemeanor. Purchasing a firearm in violation is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Prior to SB 169, Colorado followed federal law, prohibiting the purchase and transfer of handguns and NFA weapons by individuals under 21, and long guns (rifles and shotguns) by individuals under the age of 18.

HB 1219: Waiting Period to Deliver a Firearm
Effective October 1, 2023, Colorado House Bill 23-1219 will establish a mandatory 3-day waiting period before a firearms seller may deliver a firearm to a transferee/purchaser, with specific exceptions. The waiting period is the later in time of 3 days after the initiation of a required background check of the purchaser or when the purchase is approved following any background check.

Exceptions to the law include:

  • Sale of an antique firearm
  • Sale of a firearm by a member of the U.S. armed forces to specific family members, including children, parents and legal guardians, spouses, siblings, extended family, and those with a significant personal bond to the seller
  • Firearm transfers not requiring a background check

Delivering a firearm prior to the expiration of the waiting period is a civil infraction, punishable by a $500 fine for a first offense and a $500-5,000 fine for a second or subsequent offense.

Prior to HB 1219, Colorado did not have a waiting period for the delivery of purchased/transferred firearms beyond requiring licensed dealers to first receive a background check response from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or those under 21 subject to enhanced background checks up to 10 days.

Stay State Compliant

State and local firearm laws – like those signed in Colorado – often change more frequently than Federal regulations, putting an increased burden on FFLs to abide by state restrictions, avoid revocation, and guard against legal liability. But when armed with Orchid eState™, staying up to date with the latest firearm restrictions in your state and across the country is easy!

Whether integrated into your ecommerce webstore or used as a standalone tool, Orchid eState™ enables FFLs to monitor and check transactions against state and local-level firearm laws by customer ZIP code, product characteristics, and item UPC to prevent illegal shipments and sales, both in-store and online. Plus, non-firearm laws, like purchase age and waiting periods, are also tracked for complete transparency and compliance to better protect your FFL from ATF.

To learn more about Orchid eState™, contact Orchid today for a free demo.

Stay State Compliant