DENVER (KDVR) — The minimum age to purchase any gun in Colorado could be raised to 21 years old after initial Senate approval this week at the Capitol.

It came after much debate and hourslong sessions into the night this week, but the bill is moving on. Senators Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, are sponsors of the legislation.

Under current law, a person must already be 21 to purchase a handgun, but only 18 for long guns.

”I am sponsoring this legislation as part of a robust effort to address the public health crisis that is gun violence,” Danielson said.

The bill also makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to knowingly sell or transfer a firearm to a juvenile.

“We know that data shows higher rates of violence in our young people. Senate bill 169 makes our community safer,” Mullica said.

Some amendments were adopted in which Mullica provided details.

“We are taking back and reworking this and making it where purchase is not allowed for 18,19, and 20-year-olds unless you are military or police, because possession will be allowed for a number of areas or if you have hunting, with a mentor for a shooting competition, shooting targets.”

Republicans came in hard on their issues with the bill.

”What I’m not seeing in this bill is any protection for women, particularly young mothers, who might be the victim of a crime,” Senator Jim Smallwood said.

Senator Kevin Van Winkle, voiced concerns about safety as well. “The effect is a gift to stalkers, domestic abusers and evildoers,” he said.

Republicans have warned of filibusters and lawsuits associated with this bill and others focused on gun control. Those same Republicans said the focus should be on mental health rather than gun reform.

The other gun reform bills that would broaden red flag laws and give violence victims more pathways to suing firearm dealers and manufacturers also advanced.