Colorado: Assault Weapon Ban Introduced

Gun Rights

Late Friday night, members in the anti-gun majority introduced a bill, House Bill 23-1230 (“HB 23-1230”), which bans the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of what the drafters have defined as an “assault weapon.” The bill’s broad definition of “assault weapon” bans all semi-automatic rifles including America’s most common rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Coloradans use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. HB 23-1230 also bans .50 BMG rifles, despite the fact that these rifles are essentially never used in crime. Even worse, the ban extends to common firearm parts and many innocuous components in the definition of “assault weapon” or “rapid-fire trigger activator” (FRT/forced reset trigger). Possession of one of these innocuous parts in a toolbox could lead to someone accidentally transferring them in violation of the law and being subjected to the punishment of up to 120 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750. Your immediate assistance is needed!  Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to OPPOSE HB 23-1210, which would severely restrict law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen! 

HB 23-1230 also bans FRTs, but unlike the “assault weapon” ban, possession is prohibited. This is important because the definition of FRTs applies to many different firearm accessories. The definition can best be summarized as any part that can increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. The problem with this definition is that it doesn’t differentiate between the mechanical rate of fire or the achievable rate of fire. For example, changing parts like buffer springs or weights in an AR-15 changes the mechanical rate of fire (as does lightening the slide of a semi-automatic pistol), but these changes don’t generally impact the rate of fire that a user can achieve. However, things like match triggers do make it easier to shoot a firearm faster, so they likely would fall within the definition.

Biden’s oft-repeated assertion that the 1994 federal “assault weapon” ban (which he championed) reduced mass shootings “is also unsupportable,” as two separate studies by the federal Department of Justice “found no discernible effect on violent crime from that legislation.” As we know, criminals who use guns to commit crimes aren’t deterred by a ban on “assault weapons” and will continue to obtain them illegally.

“[T]he Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use [today].’” N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. 2111, 2128 (2022) (quoting District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 627 (2008)). In summary, it’s clear that banning “assault weapons” wouldn’t have an impact on reducing gun violence or mass shootings and because the so-called “assault weapons” are undeniably common, they cannot be banned under the Second Amendment. NRA encourages our lawmakers to focus on supporting policies that protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families.  

NRA thanks the members and Second Amendment supporters for staying diligent and continuing to contact their lawmakers. The other gun-control bills are scheduled for action this week, stay tuned for updates and please forward this to your family and friends, to take action and urge their lawmakers to oppose this extreme gun-control legislation!

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