Colorado Gun Laws

colorado state seal

Colorado gun laws operate on a “Shall Issue” policy at the county level. Permits are not usually issued to non-residents however they may obtain a permit if they can demonstrate good cause such as owning a property in Colorado, frequent travel etc. All resident permits are issued by the local county sheriff while the Department of Public Safety handles applications for non-residents. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are competent with handling a firearm.

Colorado CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry NO
total active ccw
licenses in colorado

Gun Laws

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colorado honors
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Colorado CCW Dashboard

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Gun Laws

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honored in

CO Honors

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Colorado CCW Reciprocity


  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in Colorado

Under Colorado law another state must honor Colorado's CCW permit before Colorado will honor the other states permit. Section CRS 18.12.213 of the law prevents Colorado from honoring any out-of-state Non-Resident permits, even if there is a reciprocity agreement between the states.

So in summary, if you have a resident permit from another state, and that state honors a Colorado permit and you are at least 21 years old, then Colorado will honor your out of state permit.

Colorado Reciprocity State's

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington

Colorado Handgun Permit


  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Demonstrates competence with a handgun.
  • Is a legal resident of Colorado.
  • Has not been convicted of perjury.
  • Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages.
  • Is not an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
  • Is not subject to a protection order.
  • Federal Law Requirements

Colorado Gun Policy

Shall Issue

Permit Issued To

age required
cost of
Cww permit

Years Permit
is valid

Colorado CCW Handgun Forms

Download Your Forms

Colorado: Places Off-Limits for CCW

colorado state flag
Colorado state flag

Places Off-Limits in Colorado

  • Public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school
  • Secure areas of airports
  • Public buildings with fixed security checkpoints such as courthouses
  • Snowmobile (permit for predator control required)
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in Colorado

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • School, if firearm is left in a locked vehicle.
  • All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits

Pointers: Colorado CCW

Lawyer - Do not enter bar with a gun
Open carry in Colorado

Other Colorado Gun Laws

Private Sales
All private sales of firearms must be conducted through a federally licensed dealer so that a NCIS background check can be completed. The seller must also get approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to transfer ownership of firearms. There are a few exemptions such as antique firearms, loans or gifts from family members and transfers to trustees or estate executors.

Dealer Sales
Persons must be at least 18 years old to purchase a long gun and 21 to purchase handguns.

History Of Colorado Gun Laws

colt frontier six shooter revolver
Colt Frontier six shooter

Learn Colorado's Gun History

2003 - Shall Issue

In 2003 Colorado changes its gun policy from May Issue to Shall Issue.

2012 - Campus Carry

March 2012 sees the Colorado Supreme Court strike down the campus gun ban imposed by the University of Colorado stating the ban violated the Concealed Carry Act.

2013 - Magazine Size

In July 2013 a new law is enacted that restricts magazine sizes to 15 rounds and requires background checks on all private gun sales.

Colorado Concealed Carry Laws

colorado state capitol building
Colorado state capitol building

Colorado Gun Laws To Know

YES – Without a permit
If you can lawfully possess a handgun you can carry it in a private vehicle loaded or unloaded, no permit required. Long guns must be unloaded while in a vehicle.

Public Transport

  • Without a permit – you cannot carry on public transport such as a bus.
  • With a permit – if you have a valid permit then you are legally entitled to carry a firearm on public transport.

The Law

YES/NO – with or Without a permit

Open carry is legal but there are exceptions. Without a permit you cannot carry on public transport. Also local governments can have regulations preventing open carry in certain buildings or areas. Denver has enacted such regulations banning open carry in the city, this was confirmed as legal in a court case.

The Law

NO – Must Inform Officer

Colorado concealed carry laws have no legal requirement for a person to tell law enforcement they are carrying a firearm. The law does state that you must carry your permit, together with valid photo identification, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun and shall produce both documents upon demand by a law enforcement officer.

The Law

Colorado does not have constitutional carry.
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

In Colorado carrying a firearm into an area that serves alcohol is legal provided the building is not posted with a “No Weapons” sign.

However, legal advice from lawyers advises persons not to carry in areas where alcohol is present. The risk of altercations are higher in these areas and even if you were in the right the mere presence of a gun will make such a case harder to defend. Furthermore, possessing a firearm while intoxicated could be another potential charge. So the advice is to leave your firearm in the car if entering an area alcohol is consumed.


It is legal to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks:       YESCRS 18.12.214
  • State/National Forests:     YESCRS 18.12.214
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YESCRS 18.12.214
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES

“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Colorado concealed carry laws. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”
(Art. II, § 13)
no weapons sign in colorado

Colorado Off-Limit Statutes

Other Colorado CCW Statutes

For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

Colorado CCW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on colorado gun laws

Colorado CCW Contact

Boulder County Sheriff


Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Address 5600 Flatiron Parkway

CityBoulder, CO 80301

Phone (303) 441-3994


Updates & Data Sources

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Richard FreitasCarl MarxJay SasasterWayneEric Meyn Recent comment authors
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Love the sight!

On this page, states that will “not allow” is listed as Florida and not Colorado.


Can A FFL dealer in Nebraska transfer a rifle or shotgun to a resident of Colorado?

Bob Fagnani
Bob Fagnani

If you have a Colorado and Utah CCP and you are driving across the country and one state along the way does NOT honor your permit what do you do with your firearm while driving through that state?

Richard Freitas
Richard Freitas

As is true of all states you must abide by that particular State’s laws. My best advice is to take the time to sit down and plan your trip and then look up the gun laws in each state you cross through. Then right before you enter the state stop your vehicle and make absolutely sure that you are in compliance and remain that way until you exit that state. Oh and just to aid in avoiding complications don’t break the traffic laws. Remember when it comes to weapons always err on the side of caution.

Eric Meyn
Eric Meyn

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation website says that Colorado does recognize other state Permits IF the other state recognizes Colorado permits AND the person is a resident of the issuing state. CRS 18-12-213. Please update your page to reflect this if this info is correct. Edit: Perhaps how your page depicts it may be confusing. It seems to indicate Colorado only accepts Colorado resident licenses. It needs to be more clear and say that they accept licenses from other states as long as the permitting state matches the person’s state of residence.

Jay Sasaster
Jay Sasaster

I’m from Florida and coming to Colorado to hike and would like something to carry concealed for protection…what can I do

Carl Marx
Carl Marx

Hello was just wondering what kind of proof is needed if giving handgun as a gift to son to relinquish ownership to him and not me