Starting in October, three blue states will put into effect a slew of new gun reform legislation. Lawsuits against Colorado and Maryland have arisen, while Connecticut has steered clear of any new legal trouble.
Below is a breakdown of the legislation that went into effect on Oct. 1 in Colorado, Maryland, and Connecticut.
Once considered a purple political state, Colorado has been passing gun control legislation at a fast-moving pace. Two laws, passed by the legislature in April, will instill a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases and make the path easier for gun violence survivors and victims to sue manufacturers and dealers.
House Bill 23-1219 imposes a three-day waiting period and a background check for those who seek to purchase a firearm. Customers previously could purchase a gun and receive it the same day. If gun stores violate the new regulations, they could be charged a $500 fine for a first offense and up to a $5,000 fine for a second offense.
A gun rights group filed a lawsuit challenging the new timeline requirements, calling the waiting period “unconstitutional.” The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners initially filed a lawsuit against the law after the Democratic-led legislature passed the bill in April, but the group withdrew its suit after a judge ruled there was no standing.
“We will not bow down to unconstitutional infringements on our Second Amendment freedoms,” Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Taylor Rhodes said in a statement last week.
“We’ve reloaded our legal arsenal and are ready to take on this absurd waiting period that does nothing but trample on the rights of peaceable gun owners. We will not let tyranny prevail.”
The group cited the Supreme Court ruling from last year, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, saying the ruling invalidates “the lower court rulings’ justification for gun control.”
Senate Bill 23-168 makes it easier for Coloradans who are victims of gun violence to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers and sellers by removing the requirement to pay the defendant’s legal bills for those who lose the lawsuit. Similar laws have been enacted in New York and New Jersey and are also facing legal troubles.
Maryland lawmakers passed a new concealed carry gun law in April, placing limitations on where people could legally carry concealed firearms. Senate Bill 1, titled the “Maryland Gun Safety Act of 2023,” went into effect at the start of October and prevents gun owners from carrying firearms in hospitals, stadiums, schools, government buildings, businesses that have a license to sell alcohol or cannabis, museums, racetracks, and video lottery facilities.
The new sweeping provisions are already facing two lawsuits — one from the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association and the other from multiple gun rights groups, including Maryland Shall Issue, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and additional plaintiffs.
The groups believe the restrictions violate the Second Amendment, and a judge on Friday consolidated the suit, partially granting a motion for preliminary injunction blocking part of the new law.
The order, issued by U.S. District Judge George Russell III, is a partial win for plaintiffs, barring Maryland from enforcing the regulations in places where alcohol is sold, at public demonstrations, and on private property unless expressed by the owner. The order states “it is further ordered that state defendants are enjoined from enforcing these laws.”
Connecticut passed numerous gun safety laws in June, marking the most wide-ranging package of legislation since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
House Bill 6667 bars open carry of firearms and creates stricter rules for gun storage. Connecticut residents, as well as nonresidents, can apply for a state pistol permit. The law also requires those who lawfully possess a firearm to report stolen or lost firearms to the organized local police department in the area.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT) signed the legislation this summer, prohibiting the sale of more than three handguns within 30 days to any one person with certain exceptions. After Lamont signed the series of measures, Idaho-based We The Patriots USA, a gun rights group, filed a lawsuit against the measure.
Last year, the National Association for Gun Rights requested to temporarily block the state’s landmark 2013 gun safety law passed in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, accusing the law of violating the Second Amendment. In August, a federal judge refused to temporarily block the measure, stating the group failed to provide evidence that large-capacity magazines are commonly bought for self-defense.
“Plaintiffs’ proposed ownership of assault weapons and LCMs is not protected by the Second Amendment because they have not demonstrated that the specific assault weapons and LCMs in the challenged statutes are commonly sought out, purchased, and used for self-defense,” the opinion reads.