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Colorado gun group sues state over 'ghost gun' ban

A Colorado gun advocacy group, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, announced a lawsuit against the state, challenging a law that bans ghost guns from being possessed.

A Colorado group known for leading the charge to protect and preserve the Second Amendment announced on Monday it is suing the state over a law banning "ghost guns," saying it is unconstitutional.

The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said in a press release that they filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the newly enacted homemade firearm ban with hopes of overturning the ban because it infringes on Second Amendment rights.

"This law is an outright assault on the constitutional rights of peaceable Coloradans," Taylor D. Rhodes, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said. "It’s not just an overreach; it’s a direct defiance to our Second Amendment freedoms."

Senate Bill 23-279, which was signed into law by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and went into effect on Monday, bans the possession, transport, purchase and ownership of gun frames and receivers that are not stamped with serial numbers.

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Anyone in possession of ghost guns had until Jan. 1, 2024 to get them stamped with serial numbers at a licensed dealership, though a background check was required before the dealer could give the gun back.

"We believe that this law, like others that attempt to restrict gun rights, will not stand up under scrutiny, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Bruen," Rhodes said, referring to a recent Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Associate v. Bruen.

In the decision, a New York gun safety law requiring a license to carry concealed weapons in public was overturned because it was unconstitutional.

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"In the Bruen decision, the Supreme Court made it clear that any law infringing on the right to bear arms must align with the historical understanding of the Second Amendment," Rhodes said. "Senate Bill 23-270 clearly does not meet this standard. If homemade – unserialized – guns weren't legal at the time of our nation’s founding, we would all have a British accent."

The group says the legislation lacks clarity and unfairly targets peaceable citizens.

The nonprofit also urges supporters and gun rights advocates to stand with them as they challenge the law, adding the outcome could have implications for gun legislation not just in Colorado, but across the U.S.

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"The fight for our constitutional rights is never easy, but it’s always worth it," Rhodes said. "We’re committed to ensuring Coloradans can exercise their Second Amendment rights without undue governmental intrusion. This lawsuit is yet another testament to that commitment."

In Colorado, the person accused of killing five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs and another who wounded two administrators at a Denver high school had possessed ghost guns before the killings, according to authorities.

Under a federal gun bill signed by President Biden last year, manufacturers are already required to put serial numbers on those parts.

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