These are all of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Marijuana bills proposed in the 2019 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

HB19-1021 Repeal Ammunition Magazine Prohibition [Saine, Humphrey]

*Sent to House State Affairs Kill Committee*

Short Description: 

This bill repeals the ban on high-capacity magazines and the requirement that that some magazines manufactured in Colorado after July 1, 2013 be stamped as such.

Long Description: N/A

Arguments For:

The high-capacity magazine ban is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of Colorado citizens. The framers did not carve exceptions into the 2nd Amendment and if a Colorado citizen wants to use high-capacity magazines they have the Constitutional right to do so. Furthermore, criminals do not follow laws, that is why they are criminals, so this ban won’t help prevent tragic incidents of mass shootings because someone who wants to commit a mass shooting isn’t going to make sure they obtain their weapons legally. There are numerous ways around this ban, so the only effect is to keep law-abiding citizens who already weren’t going to shoot anyone from using them. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, so the solution to mass shootings is in people, not guns.

Arguments Against:

This ban was put into place after the Aurora theater shooting, where the shooter was able to fire 30 bullets without reloading. It of course is still on the books, which tells you all you need to know about its constitutionality. There is no need for any gun owner to fire so many bullets without pause, the only reason to do so is if you want to kill as many people as possible before you have to stop firing. Any loopholes in the enforcement of the law should be closed, not used as a justification for ditching it altogether. The fact that criminals will try to evade the law isn’t a reason to not have it. By that logic we shouldn’t have any laws at all, since criminals won’t try to stick to them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1021
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HB19-1022 Deadly Force Against Intruder at a Business [Sandridge]

*Sent to House State Affairs Kill Committee*

Short Description:

Expands the rights of citizens to use deadly force against intruders from just own homes to also include place of business. This right extends to anyone who works at the business.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

Citizens should be able to defend themselves and this is a natural extension of that right from our home to our work. If a citizen finds him or herself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing peril at their work, they should be able to defend themselves without facing criminal charges.

Arguments Against:

These so-called castle doctrine laws give citizens more rights than police to use deadly force and it is always almost impossible to disprove them, no matter the circumstances, because of the clause in the law that says fear of any harm, no matter how small, is grounds for killing another human being. In a business, it’s easy to see how this could go off the rails very quickly with much larger amounts of foot traffic from strangers.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1022
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HB19-1028 Medical Marijuana Condition Autism (Coram, Fenberg) [Hooton, Ransom]

Short Description:

Adds autism spectrum disorders to the list of medical conditions that authorize the use a person to use medical marijuana. Directs the state board of health to prioritize research regarding the efficacy and the safety of administering medical marijuana for pediatric conditions, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorder.

Long description: n/a

Arguments For:

Marijuana is preferable to the heavy duty pyschotropics frequently used for those on the autism spectrum for calming seizures, a common autism side effect. Numerous anecdotal stories of the effectiveness of its use on those with severe autism point toward allowing it in Colorado.

Arguments Against:

This bill does not preclude prescribing marijuana to children and we do not have much long-term research at all on the effects of marijuana in children (as the bill points out by directing the prioritization of such research). While psychotropics are heavy duty drugs, we do at least have more research on them to understand how they must be mitigated.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1028
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HB19-1033 Local Governments May Regulate Nicotine Products (Fields, Priola) [Tipper, Kennedy]

Short Description:

Expands counties ability to impose their own nicotine product restrictions on minors and, with the approval of its citizens, impose a special county sales tax on nicotine products by expanding the definition from just cigarettes to any tobacco or nicotine products. Also allows cities, towns, and counties to impose fees, licenses, or taxes on cigarette sales without losing their share of state cigarette tax revenue (currently they forfeit their share in this case).

Long Description:

Expands counties ability to impose their own nicotine product restrictions on minors and, with the approval of its citizens, impose a special county sales tax on nicotine products by expanding the definition from just cigarettes to any tobacco or nicotine products. This includes the ability to enact ordinances around the possession of tobacco products by minors and the ability to prohibit sales to those under 21. Also allows cities, towns, and counties to impose fees, licenses, or taxes on cigarette sales without losing their share of state cigarette tax revenue (currently they forfeit their share in this case).


Arguments For:

The rise of vaping shows that we need to update our arsenal for combatting nicotine use among minors, where addictions can be formed that last a lifetime. Studies have found that Colorado kids use e-cigarettes at twice the national level. Counties should have the freedom to impose their own taxes and fees on these products that cause so much harm in their communities. The health risks of nicotine are well-established and so are the second-hand effects.

Arguments Against:

This takes sin taxation too far. Cigarettes are already heavily taxed, at some point there needs to be concern about the financial well-being of smokers. We all know how difficult it can be to quit, it’s not a simple matter of ratcheting up the financial pressure. The health effects of vaping are not as well understood as that of smoking, the delivery mechanism can make a difference, but some early research shows that it is less dangerous. It is premature to lump the two together, particularly when it comes to second-hand effects.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1033
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HB19-1049 Concealed Handguns on School Grounds [Neville]

*Sent to House State Affairs Kill Committee*

Short Description:

Removes the limitation on carrying concealed handguns (by people with valid permits to do so) on school grounds.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

The elimination of the ability to have concealed guns at schools means the only people with guns at schools are bad guys, which leads to the unfortunate shootings that have become all too common. A good guy with a gun on the scene could nip many of these situations in the bud. Someone has to have a valid permit in order to do this, so they have already been vetted by the state.

Arguments Against:

Introducing guns into schools is a recipe for disaster. Civilians are not trained to assess and react to active shooter situations and may be just as likely to shoot innocent bystanders as the gunman. In addition, this lack of training may result in a tragedy where a concealed carry individual believes someone has a gun when in fact they do not. This happens far too often with trained police officers already. Since Columbine, police training to react to these mass shooter incidents has improved greatly and they are more likely to resolve any active shooter situation in the best manner possible. Civilians are also more likely to be sloppy with their guns, leaving them in bathrooms or classrooms for others to find (this has happened in other states). In addition, while it is true that permit holders are vetted, we don’t allow them in the state capitol, where the legislators work, so let’s keep them out of schools.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1049
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SB19-011 Fermented Malt Beverage and Malt Liquor License (Williams, Tate) [Garnett, McKean]

PASSED SENATE COMMITTEE

Short Description:

Removes dual licensing requirements for the beer code and the liquor code dealing with fermented malt beverages and malt liquor that exists as of January 1, 2019 for all non-retail activity since both beverages are now defined similarly in both codes.

Long Description:

Removes dual licensing requirements for the beer code and the liquor code dealing with fermented malt beverages and malt liquor that exists as of January 1, 2019 for all non-retail activity since both beverages are now defined similarly in both codes. All non-retail beer code licenses are converted to liquor licenses and the state is barred from issuing new, non-retail beer code licenses.

Arguments For: The dual requirement is now superfluous for all non-retail activity, so all current law does is force companies and the state to jump through more hoops for no reason.

Arguments Against: n/a

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-011
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SB19-013 Medical Marijuana Condition Opiates Prescribed For (Marble) [Hooton, Ransom]

Short Description:

Adds any condition that a physician can use an opiate for controlling pain as eligible for medical marijuana. Also removes some specific physician requirements (still need two though) for those under 18 to align with constitutional provisions for a debilitating medical condition.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

Opiates are more dangerous than marijuana. There is a mountain of evidence proving this and prescription opiates are the keystone of our current opioid epidemic. Marijuana has proven to be an effective pain reliever and should be used in this area.

Arguments Against:

Marijuana is a federally illegal drug, opiates are not. It’s really that simple, so swapping out a legal pain drug for an illegal one is not something the state should be doing. In addition, medical marijuana is in its early days, we should not be so hasty to jump to conclusions about potential long-term problematic side effects.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-013
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SB19-028 Allow On and Off Premises Beer Licenses Rural Areas  (Holbert) [McKean]

Short Description:

A 2018 bill terminated the 3.2 beer license for consumption on or off premises, requiring those license holders to convert to either on or off premise beer licensing. This bill reinstates the on-off license but only for counties with a population of less than 35,000 or in an underserved area (3.2 licenses do not exist anymore so it will be for full-strength beer).

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

The requirement that the holders of the 3.2 on-off license pick between the two license types forces long-standing locations in rural areas that are frequently the only option for alcohol for miles to choose between being a restaurant and selling beer to go. This is a common sense solution.

Arguments Against:

There is a reason we don’t want places both selling full-strength beer to go and selling it for consumption in the restaurant. The stronger alcohol makes it easier for someone to get fully inebriated and thus sets up the scenario of someone drinking right up to the line where the restaurant would refuse to sell them any beer to go, then buying enough beer to go and drinking it outside where they could endanger others.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB19-028
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