photo courtesy of dcfguns.com
By David Freestone 2.1.23
This House Bill is concerning the Mass Shooting Prevention Act of 2023
Thoughts on the draft bill on “Prohibition of Assault Weapons in CO.”
After reading the draft I would offer the following comments: 1. This bills’ intent is to ban all modern sporting rifles and AR pistols 2. It allows those currently possessing these weapons to keep them but only if you have maintained continuous possession and have proof that you owned them before the law goes into effect. This requires a bill of sale or some other proof of ownership like a credit card receipt or a copy of the background check form from the original purchase. You are not allowed to transfer them to others. 3. If you cannot provide proof of ownership prior to the law passage and are requested to produce said proof by law enforcement you have 3 days to come up with the proof while the peace officer holds your confiscated weapon for no more than 3 business days. If you still don’t have acceptable proof on the 4th day your weapon will be destroyed ( after it is no longer needed for criminal or civil prosecution) and “applicable criminal and civil penalties apply”. 4. In other words if you are stopped by law enforcement with the weapon in the vehicle /possession and no acceptable proof of ownership, prior to the law effective date, they will confiscate the gun and you are on the clock to come up with proof or lose your gun and be subject to prosecution. 5. The penalty, depending on the date of the supposed transgression can range from a class 2 misdeanor, and or $1,000 to $5,000 fines again depending on the date of occurrence. If the weapon is used in a felony crime then a class 6 felony takes place. The weapon must be stored securely and unloaded. It may only be transported unloaded and in a locked case. 6. Their definition of an “Assault Weapon” seems to include all AR pistols, rifles, AK’s , etc. It also includes 50 caliber rifles like a Barrett ,McMillon etc. It also includes all weapons with “threaded barrels” Since all guns have threaded barrels that screw into the receivers….Does this mean that they are all illegal? I am assuming the intent is to preclude threads to the other end of the barrel which would accept a silencer, but it isn’t clarified. 7. The bill goes on to claim that the previous federal assault weapons ban that “sunsetted” in 2004 reduced mass shootings and that mass shootings “sky rocketed” after the bill sunsetted. Everything I have seen says there was no appreciable difference in shootings prior to, during, or after the ban. I’m not sure who is giving them their statistics but they are not substantiated by anything I’ve seen. 8. In summation this bill is in my opinion is a gross assault on the second amendment of the constitution of the United States of America. It is, in my view, a first step towards banning guns completely in the state of Colorado. It does not address the actual cause of the horrible deaths in these shooting, which is the person pulling the trigger. The gun is an inanimate object which in and of itself cannot do anything. It is the evil person who misuses this tool who is to blame and these people will continue thier heinous acts even if they use vehicles, knives, swords, baseball bats etc. Changing the tool involved does not address the root cause of the problem.