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Colorado Senate passes ban on ghost guns as Gov. Polis signs four new gun-safety bills into law

May 1, 2023, 9:47 am

The Colorado Senate approved a bill Friday that would ban possession of unserialized firearms in the state.

So-called “ghost guns” are untraceable handmade weapons that law enforcement agencies say are increasingly common. They are made using kits or printed by a 3D printer, and the process allows a person to evade a required universal background check.

Senate Bill 23-279 passed the Senate on third reading along mostly partisan lines. Democratic Sen. Kevin Priola of Henderson, who changed his party affiliation from Republican last summer, was the lone Democratic no vote.

“It’s a straightforward policy that reduces access to these unserialized firearms,” Sen. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat, said on the Senate floor Friday. “Unfortunately we’ve had recent tragedies in Colorado where there’s a direct connection to these ghost guns.”

The shooter in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs last year had an interest in making ghost guns with 3D printing, and the alleged shooter who injured two East High School administrators in March had ghost guns and allegedly used one in his own death.

Hansen sponsored the bill with Aurora Democrat Sen. Rhonda Fields. It is sponsored in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, a Fort Collins Democrat, and Rep. Junie Joseph, a Boulder Democrat.

The bill would ban the creation and possession of ghost guns in Colorado. People who already own one would have until the end of the year to get it serialized, which makes the gun traceable to law enforcement, if the bill becomes law.

Eleven states already regulate ghost guns in some way, and the bill has the support of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

It now heads to the House for consideration, where it will need to move quickly before the legislative session ends on May 8.

Also on Friday, Gov. Jared Polis signed four bills into law also aimed at reducing the impact of gun violence in the state.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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