Judge Halts Colorado Gun Control With Preliminary Injunction

On Monday, United States District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer issued a preliminary injunction against Colorado’s newly established minimum firearm purchase age of 21. This injunction comes in light of the NYSRPA v. Bruen (2022) decision, which Brimmer cited as a significant precedent.

The case, titled RMGO v. Polis, was initiated by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) on behalf of themselves and two private citizens. The focus of the case revolves around Senate Bill 23-169, a legislation signed by Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) and is set to become effective this week.

The plaintiffs, including RMGO and two individuals, challenged specific components of SB 23-169. One contentious aspect of the bill states, “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.”

Another critical provision declares, “It is unlawful for a person who is less than twenty-one years of age to purchase a firearm.” The plaintiffs, particularly highlighting Tate Mosgrove, a private citizen involved in the case, underscored that he falls within the age range of 18 to 21 and intends to legally purchase a firearm for self-defense purposes at home.

Adrian S. Pineda, the second private citizen plaintiff, similarly falls within the age bracket of 18 to 21 and aims to lawfully purchase a firearm for self-defense. The case’s core contention rests on these individuals’ rights to acquire firearms within this age group.

Judge Brimmer’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction draws heavily from the NYSRPA v. Bruen case, which challenged the “two-step test” commonly used to evaluate the constitutionality of gun control measures. Brimmer emphasized the significance of historical analysis in assessing the Second Amendment’s scope.

Quoting from the Bruen case, Brimmer noted that when the Second Amendment explicitly pertains to an individual’s actions, it is inherently safeguarded by the Constitution. Any government regulations must align with the historical traditions of firearm control, and only then can a court deem an individual’s conduct as exempt from the Second Amendment’s provisions.

As a result, Judge Brimmer granted the preliminary injunction, immediately barring the enforcement of SB 23-169 for now.