A federal judge in Colorado has upheld a state law mandating a three-day waiting period for gun purchases, despite a lawsuit claiming the law infringes on Second Amendment rights. The law, HB23-1219, was challenged by gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and another plaintiff. However, Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane Jr. denied their request for a preliminary injunction, allowing the law to remain in effect while the broader legal battle continues.
The ruling is seen as an early win for Governor Jared Polis and his administration, who are defending the state’s new gun laws in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Bruen ruling on gun rights. This ruling established a new standard for evaluating gun laws, requiring defenders to identify historical precedents dating back to the drafting of the Constitution.
Judge Kane’s decision suggests that he is unlikely to overturn the law at the conclusion of the case. The plaintiffs have already indicated their intention to appeal the decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In his ruling, Judge Kane argued that the Second Amendment does not guarantee immediate access to firearms and that historical evidence supports the existence of waiting periods. He also noted that the first waiting period law was not established until 1923, but reasoned that this was due to the rarity of guns and the lack of impulsive gun homicides at the time.
The judge also found historical analogues for waiting periods in early firearm licensing laws and laws prohibiting the use of firearms while intoxicated. He concluded that these laws, like the waiting period law, aimed to prevent irresponsible use of firearms.
The plaintiffs claimed that the law had already caused them specific harm, with one co-plaintiff unable to attend a shotgun shoot due to the waiting period. However, Judge Kane found that the waiting period did not threaten her ability to defend herself, as she already owned multiple firearms.
The judge also argued that blocking the waiting period law could endanger lives, citing evidence from the administration’s expert witnesses. The plaintiffs plan to appeal the decision.
Read more at CPR News.