General Questions

Are Colorado citizens required to register their firearms?   

NO. In fact, state law prohibits firearms registration by local or state government (the federal Brady Act is another matter, though that's not "claimed" to be registration).

CRS 29-11.7-103. Regulation - type of firearm - prohibited.

A local government may not enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law. Any such ordinance, regulation, or other law enacted by a local government prior to March 18, 2003, is void and unenforceable.

CRS 29-11.7-102. Firearms database - prohibited.

(1) A local government, including a law enforcement agency, shall not maintain a list or other form of record or database of:

(a) Persons who purchase or exchange firearms or who leave firearms for repair or sale on consignment;

(b) Persons who transfer firearms, unless the persons are federally licensed firearms dealers;

(c) The descriptions, including serial numbers, of firearms purchased, transferred, exchanged, or left for repair or sale on consignment.

What is required when I bring firearms from another state? 


Is it legal for a private citizen to sell a firearm to another private citizen? 

YES, as long as the seller has no knowledge that the purchaser is ineligible to purchase that firearm.  Click here to sell firearms privately.

Is it legal for a private citizen to sell ammunition to another private citizen? 


Does Colorado require "handgun registration"? 

NO (Only because of the hard work of RMGO and it's members).

Convicted Felons and Firearm Ownership

Persons convicted of a state offense may contact the office of the attorney general in the state where their conviction occurred, or the state’s Department of Justice, for information concerning restoration alternatives that may be available. (For example, the state may have a procedure for a gubernatorial pardon, a set-aside or expunction of the conviction, or a restoration of firearm rights.)

Persons convicted of a federal offense may elect to apply for a presidential pardon. Information on applying for a presidential pardon may be obtained at:

U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 11000
Washington, DC 20530 USA
Voice (202) 616-6070

Carrying Without a Permit

Can I carry concealed on my person without a permit in Colorado?   

NO (it’s a Class 2 misdemeanor if caught, and you will most likely forfeit the weapon; however, if done on school property it’s a felony)

18-12-105. Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons.

(1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:

(a) Carries a knife concealed on or about his or her person; or

(b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person;

18-12-105.5. Unlawfully carrying a weapon - unlawful possession of weapons - school, college, or university grounds.

Read more: Carrying Without a Permit

Concealed Carry Permits

Where can I NOT carry with a valid Colorado concealed carry permit?

18-12-214. Authority granted by permit - carrying restrictions.

(1) (a) A permit to carry a concealed handgun authorizes the permittee to carry a concealed handgun in all areas of the state, except

(2) A permit issued does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

Read more: Concealed Carry Permits

Acquiring a Concealed Carry Permit

(also see our CCW Guide and Step-By-Step instructions on how to acquire a permit)

Who issues permits?   Your County Sheriff (in Denver it is the Manager of Safety)

Can a sheriff issue a permit to me, even if I don’t live in the area they cover?   CONDITIONAL YES.

You can apply to the county where you own a second residence, own your own business, or where you have a previous permit.  However, most sheriffs require you to show a drivers license to prove your place of residence.

18-12-205. Sheriff - application - procedure - background check.

(2) (a) An applicant shall complete the permit application form and return it, in person, to the sheriff of the county or city and county in which the applicant resides, to the sheriff of the county or city and county in which the applicant maintains a secondary residence or owns or leases real property used by the applicant in a business, or to the sheriff that previously issued a permit to the applicant.

Read more: Acquiring a Concealed Carry Permit

Open Carry

Can I Open Carry in Colorado? YES. But this is not a simple yes; unfortunately, it is quite complicated.

What exactly is Open Carry? There is no statutory definition of open carry.  But put simply, it is the carrying of a firearm that is not concealed.

Does it matter if it is loaded or not? SOMETIMES.

In general, it does not change things legally if it is loaded or not. For example, in your car, the law does prohibit long guns with a round chambered, but not handguns. These are based on hunting laws.  But the law concerning weapons “in facilities of public transportation” does specify “any loaded firearm.” Technically, an unloaded firearm would be legal, but a violation of this law is a felony, so arguing loaded v. unloaded is some very thin ice to skate on.

33-6-125. Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.

It is unlawful to possess any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of 

Read more: Open Carry

Assault Weapons

Can I legally possess a semi-automatic, so-called "Assault Weapon" in Colorado?    CONDITIONAL YES. Some municipalities ban them or require their registration.  Though SB03-25 was designed to remove these municipal restrictions, a November 2004 ruling by Judge Meyers kept the Denver ban in place (though modified).

Note: In January 2007, the Denver City Council passed 38-07, which modifies Denver's assault weapons ban. 

Read more: Assault Weapons

Possession & Purchase of Firearms

What are the Federal & State Age restrictions for firearms purchase and/or possession? Click here for a document (Adobe Acrobat required) prepared by Colorado's Legislative Legal Services.  You can see the citations for these laws here.

Can I buy firearms through the mail?  NO. You may, however, contact a Federal Firearms Licensee and pay them a nominal fee ($15-$25).  Click here for a list of FFL's in your area.

Shooting Laws / Regulations

Can I shoot a firearm in a National Forest?  YES.  However, there are federal regulations.

A firearm may not be discharged in the following National Forest areas:

  1. Within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied area; or
  2. Across or on a Forest Development road or an adjacent body of water, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge; or
  3. Into or within any cave. [36 CFR 261.10 (d)]

Note: Some forest or districts have additional restrictions on discharging a firearm. You are advised to check with the authorities in the areas you will be visiting.

Alcohol, Bars, and Marijuana & Firearms Prohibitions

Is it legal to be intoxicated while possessing a firearm?

No.  "Under the influence" is the key.

18-12-106. Prohibited use of weapons.
(1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if:
(d) The person has in his or her possession a firearm while the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a controlled substance, as defined in section 12-22-303 (7), C.R.S. Possession of a permit issued under section 18-12-105.1, as it existed prior to its repeal, or possession of a permit or a temporary emergency permit issued pursuant to part 2 of this article is no defense to a violation of this subsection (1).

Read more: Alcohol, Bars, and Marijuana & Firearms Prohibitions

Criminal Trespass

If I carry in a private business that bans, am I guilty of criminal trespass?  Sometimes.

18-4-504 Third Degree Criminal Trespass

(1) A person commits the crime of third degree criminal trespass if such person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon premises of another.
(2) Third degree criminal trespass is a class 1 petty offense, but:
(a) It is a class 3 misdemeanor if the premises have been classified by the county assessor for the county in which the land is situated as agricultural land pursuant to section 39-1-102 (1.6), C.R.S.; and
(b) It is a class 5 felony if the person trespasses on premises so classified as agricultural land with the intent to commit a felony thereon.

NFA Weapons (Machine-guns, Suppresors, etc.)

NFA Weapons (Machine-guns, Suppressors, etc)

Can I legally possess a machine gun in Colorado? CONDITIONAL YES.

Colorado law has no additional prohibitions for NFA weapons (that are not in place by Federal law).  Many municipalities/counties have a standing policy that their law enforcement officials will not sign Form 4's, but that's rare.  Denver, of course, has that policy, as does Douglas County.

For an FAQ about the Federal laws, click here for Bardwell's excellent primer.

Bardwell NFA FAQ

Unlike many other states (who ban them outright), Title II weapons (machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns, AOW’s, and destructive devices) are legal in Colorado, but those firearms do have significant restrictions and regulations set by federal law (mostly defined in the 1934 National Firearms Act).

Unfortunately, the price on many of these firearms is outrageous (usually 15-20 times the price of the semi-automatic counterpart). Why?

In 1986, the NRA worked to pass the McClure-Volkmer Act. Amongst other things, it halted the production of transferable machine guns in America. That means that if an individual (non-police or Class 3 dealer) wants to buy a machine gun, he must purchase one built and registered in 1986 or earlier.

Again, the NRA supported this (yet another example of the NRA selling out the American gun owner).

Read more about NFA (Title II) weapons below:

Click here to see upcoming CCW Permit Classes offered by RMGO

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