Despite an all-night Republican filibuster, the Democrat-controlled Colorado state Senate this week passed a measure to arbitrarily strip the ability to purchase firearms from adults under age 21. 

The proposal, SB 169, bumps up the age requirement for a person to legally buy a gun – including rifles and shotguns – to a minimum of 21 years in the state. It backs it up by making it a crime for those under 21 to even possess a firearm, in most cases, or to transfer control of a firearm to a juvenile. Penalties for violating the bill could range as high as three years in state prison and $100,000 in fines. 

The final roll call for the measure on Monday was 20 to 15, with three Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with the chamber's dozen Republicans against the bill. This came after a 12-hour floor debate last Friday, in which Senate Republicans offered multiple amendments to the proposal, including one that would have allowed victims of domestic abuse who are under the age of 21 to purchase a gun for self-defense. 

The Democrat majority killed the amendments and muscled through the legislation.

"I’m extremely disappointed to see our Democratic colleagues reject our proposals that would have safeguarded the legal rights of self-defense to victims and survivors of domestic violence, assault, and stalking,” said state Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker. "The General Assembly must act to protect many of our state’s most vulnerable, and these amendments would have done exactly that." 

While anti-gun groups support the measure, pro-Second Amendment organizations are slamming SB 169. 

"Adults who are old enough to vote, join the military without parent permission, and enter into contracts should also have their Second Amendment rights," said the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This is an unnecessary restriction on personal freedom and choice. Such restrictions will not stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers; they only infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens."

The bill is now in the hands of the Colorado House of Representatives, where Dems hold an easy 46-19 majority. 

Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat who was elected last year with the assistance of a $2.7 million campaign push by Everytown, has voiced support for tougher gun laws in the state.

Checking out Savage rifles and shotguns at the 2023 SHOT Show. (Photo: Chris Eger/

revolver barrel loading graphic