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Colorado gun laws changed in 2021

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

The state’s politicians have skirted the issue of guns more often than not in recent years. This year was different, with five bills passed.

Senate Bill 78

Named after a woman murdered with a stolen gun in 2020, the Isabella Joy Thallas Act passed in April gives firearm owners five days to notify law enforcement that their gun was lost or stolen. They must provide (if they know) such relevant information as model, serial number, caliber, and manufacturer. Failure to report a lost or stolen gun is a $25 fine, but it becomes a misdemeanor with a $500 fine if it happens again.

House Bill 1106

Going into effect in early July, this bill orders the safe storage of guns. It was initially drafted to prevent access by unsupervised minors or unauthorized users. The bill makes it an offense of unlawful storage of a firearm if they A) understand that there is a juvenile who could gain access without permission of a parent or guardian, or B) there is a resident on the premises who is ineligible to possess under federal or state law. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor. It also requires gun dealers to provide locking devices capable of securing the firearm at the time of sale. Transferring the gun without the lock is a $500 fine.

Three other bills signed by Polis

In response to the King Soopers shooting, three others also went into effect:

  • House Bill 1298 seeks to tighten and strengthen background checks for buyers.
  • House Bill 1299 creates an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which acts as a clearinghouse of gun violence data.
  • Senate Bill 256 lifts the state’s ban on local governments passing stricter gun laws than the state’s.

All three bills had safety clauses, which means they went into effect immediately upon signing in June.

It is best to pay attention

Gun owners can make mistakes, and very few of them involve the death or injury to others. Such matters as transporting a weapon for target practice or not following regulations on the storage of firearms may seem minor. Still, it is always wise to discuss any gun charges with an attorney who under these new laws and those previously established.