Studies Show Colorado’s New Minimum Age Law Hasn’t Worked Elsewhere

As a firm believer in natural rights, I don’t like wading into statistical arguments at all. Our rights come from the fact that we are human. For those of us who believe in a higher power, our rights come from God, not government. That’s it.

There should be no need to show using statistical analysis or scientific studies why we deserve our rights and liberties. Likewise, nor should there be any statistical override to our natural rights.

Some people still demand that we prove why we “need” our freedoms. For those people, there is plenty of statistical evidence that shows that freedom works, whether it’s about economics or social issues. The more we leave each other alone, the more we pursue our best interests and maximize what we produce, live happier lives, and we are all better off as a result.

Sometimes, the control freaks among us respect neither natural rights nor utilitarian justifications made in support of freedom. The gun control crew that’s lately taken over Colorado is among them. In the aftermath of the Club Q attack, perpetrated by a “non-binary” individual who uses they/them pronouns and the ”Mx.” neologism, Colorado passed a new minimum age requirement to purchase any firearm, raising the age from 18 to 21.

Besides violating the natural rights of young adults, is there any evidence that the raised minimum age requirement works? Fox31 from Denver, CO reports (archived links):

What does research say about minimum age gun laws?

by: DJ Summers

DENVER (KDVR) — Studies suggest Colorado’s recent minimum age requirement may not have a big impact on homicides.

Colorado’s new minimum age requirement to purchase any gun will begin on Aug. 7. The new law raises the legal age to purchase any gun to 21. Signed by Gov. Jared Polis in April, the law brings Colorado in line with 21 other states. Existing federal law required the same minimum age for handgun purchases, but a federal judge in Virginia ruled the law unconstitutional in May. The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners have challenged the Colorado law.

Lawmakers aim to stop gun violence in the 18 to 20-year-old age group with the new law. The hope is fewer 18 to 20-year-olds will commit violent gun crimes if they are barred from legal purchases. Studies from the University of Washington and RAND Corporation, though, say states with minimum age handgun possession laws don’t see a significant drop in gun violence among this age group.

The first study says the laws did not seem to make a difference at all.

“The five states were Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Wyoming. With the exception of Wyoming, these states also increased the minimum age for possession of a handgun,” read the report. “UW researchers found that rates of firearm homicides perpetrated by young adults aged 18 to 20 years old were not significantly different in the two groups of states.”

The second report analyzed five scholarly studies on minimum age laws and their impact on gun violence. Four of the studies said the connection between minimum age laws and violence was uncertain. One study found there was a strong connection between a reduction in violence and minimum age laws, but that it cannot solely be attributed to the laws alone since there were other gun-related laws passed at the same time.

“Therefore, we find inconclusive evidence for how minimum age requirements for possessing a firearm affect total homicides, firearm homicides, and other violent crime,” the report reads.

There is no evidence that increasing the minimum age for any gun purchase to 21 makes any difference to firearms-related violence. Note that these don’t touch upon non-firearms violence at all.

What we do see before our eyes is the infringement of the natural rights of young adults. A federal judge in Virginia ruled back in May that depriving their rights is unconstitutional. It will be a fitting reply to the lazy legislators of Colorado if their law is quickly ruled unconstitutional as well.

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