By: José Niño
On August 7, 2023, United States District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer issued a preliminary injunction against Colorado’s newly implemented minimum firearm purchase age of 21.
The judge cited the NYSRPA v. Bruen Supreme Court decision in 2022 as the case that motivated its decision to issue this injunction.
The case in question, RMGO v. Polis, was put forward by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) on behalf of itself and two Colorado residents. It is mainly dealing with Senate Bill 23-169, which Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed into law and went into effect last week.
The plaintiffs mainly targeted two facets of SB 23-169. One of those stated, “A person who is not a licensed gun dealer shall not make or facilitate the sale of a firearm to a person who is less than twenty-one years of age.”
The second important facet said, “It is unlawful for a person who is less than twenty-one years of age to purchase a firearm.”
RMGO called attention to how Tate Mosgrove, a private citizen who is also a plaintiff in this case, “is a citizen of Colorado and is older than 18, but younger than 21. It is his ‘present intention and desire to lawfully purchase a firearm for lawful purposes, including self-defense in [his] home.’”
They pointed to the case of another plaintiff, Adrian S. Pineda, calling attention to how he is also over 18 years of age but under 21 and desires to purchase a firearm for the purpose of self-defense.
Brimmer alluded to Bruen, highlighting how it got rid of the “two-step test” for gauging the constitutionality of gun control. Instead, the court is using the Bruen test that relies on the historical analysis of the Second Amendment’s text.
Brimmer used a quote from Bruen:
“When the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Only then may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command.’”
Brimmer issued a preliminary injunction, which ordered a ban against SB 23-169’s enforcement “effective immediately.”
GPM reached out to Dudley Brown of the National Association for Gun Rights for his comments on this case. Brown stated the following:
“This win doesn’t just help Colorado. Cases like these have the potential to advance to the Supreme Court, where a pro-gun ruling could restore gun rights to millions of young adults nationwide.”
Colorado’s gun politics have gone haywire in the last decade. Ever since the Rocky Mountain State embraced gun control measures such as a magazine ban and universal background checks in 2013, Colorado has started to enact gun control measures ranging from red flag gun confiscation orders to the current minimum age requirement for firearms purchases.
Should this gun control momentum not be halted, Colorado will continue falling into the gun control abyss. Colorado is currently ranked in 40th place per Guns & Ammo magazine’s “Best States for Gun Owners” rankings, making it one of the most anti-gun jurisdictions in the nation.
This latest injunction is one of the few ways gun owners can prevent Colorado from becoming the next California or New York when it comes to gun policy.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here. Subscribe to his Substack newsletter here.