Apr 12, 2023 - News

Colorado lawmakers move to ban ghost guns after 2 shootings

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Colorado lawmakers want to ban ghost guns after two recent high-profile shootings involving untraceable firearms.

  • Ghost guns are firearms bought in pieces or manufactured privately by the owner without registered serial numbers. The instructions for assembling them are available on the internet.

Driving the news: A bill set for introduction Wednesday at the state Capitol would prohibit the manufacture and possession of ghost guns, making it a misdemeanor for a first offense and felony for subsequent charges.

What they're saying: Co-sponsor Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) says the measure will "interrupt the level of gun violence we are seeing in our state and across the nation."

Why it matters: Ghost guns are increasingly being used in crimes and frustrating law enforcement agency investigations.

By the numbers: A federal report published in February found officials recovered more than 19,000 ghost guns in 2021 β€” more than double the roughly 8,500 record in 2020. .

The big picture: Colorado's action β€” which is part of a larger effort by the Democratic majority to restrict guns β€” comes as the Biden administration and other states make similar moves to regulate the weapons.

  • Other locations, including New York and Baltimore, are taking legal action against the gun parts makers.
  • Denver banned ghost guns in 2022.

Of note: The state's new legislation would not ban distribution or possession of the instructions.

  • It also includes a grace period to allow people with untraceable weapons to get them registered and undergo a background check.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more