2024 Leg Session, Civil Liberties, Featured, Local Gun Rights, Right To Arms, Sherrie Peif

Colorado lawmakers push state permitting for gun sellers; federal license already required

DENVER — Majority Democrats in the Colorado legislature continue to introduce one gun rights restricting bill after another, with the latest being a state permitting scheme for gun dealers.

House Bill 24-1353, Firearms Dealer Requirements & Permit, was introduced on February 29 and is sponsored in the House by representatives Emily Sirota, D-Denver and Andrew Boesenecker, D-Fort Collins, and in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Bridges, D-Denver.

It will require gun sellers in Colorado to obtain a state firearms dealer permit in addition to the federal firearms license that is already required.

Any gun dealer who fails to obtain a permit, which would initially cost $400 to obtain, would face an unclassified felony charge, punishable by a fine of up to $250,000. The bill also puts the state Department of Revenue (DOR) in charge of issuing the permits, with the authority to raise that cost yearly without oversight.

Although there is no fiscal note attached to the bill as of the publication of this story, according to multiple websites, as of June 2021, the most recent data available, there are more than 3,050 federal firearms license holders doing business in Colorado. Under the new law and fee, that amounts to more than $1.2 million in new revenue for Colorado.

The bill does not outline what the money would be used for.

Under the new law, a dealer would be eligible for a state permit if the dealer currently holds a federal firearms license; has not had a federal, state, or local license to deal firearms or ammunition revoked, suspended, or denied within the prior three years; and has not violated any state or federal law concerning the possession, purchase, or sale of firearms in the three years before applying for the license.

However, the bill goes further than that. Under the new law, a federal firearms licensee can have their state permit revoked not only if they lose their federal license, or if the FFL is convicted of trafficking firearms, obtaining a firearm for, or transferring a firearm to an ineligible person to possess a firearm, or unlawfully selling or transferring a firearm component or accessory, but also if they don’t allow the DOR to inspect the business or its records.

Taylor Rhodes, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said this law is just one more law designed to squash Colorado residents’ Second Amendment rights.

“The government is doing everything they can to make it nearly impossible for peaceable gun owners — or protective gun owners — to purchase firearms, as this bill is a death wish for a large majority of gun shops,” Rhodes said. “Gun owners must stand up and fight back now before it is too late.”

The bill also requires all dealers and employees of a dealer to complete annual training in the sale of firearms and for dealers to “secure each firearm in a manner that prevents a customer or other member of the public from accessing or using the firearm, except when the firearm is being shown to the customer or being repaired, and to report to law enforcement when the dealer suspects an employee is involved in a straw purchase or theft of a firearm.”

The bill will be heard in the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee at 1:30 p.m. on March 14 in House Committee Room 0112.


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