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
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Gun Laws

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Colorado CCW Dashboard

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Colorado CCW Reciprocity

COLORADO 2018

  • 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

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STATES
RESIDENT
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
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states
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
0
states
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

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • 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

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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
Antique handgun

Learn Colorado's Gun History

2003

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

2012

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

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
18.12.204

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
18.12.204
YES/NO - with or Without a permit

Open carry is legal with a few 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
29-11.7-704
NO

“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.

YES
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.

YES
It is legal to carry in the following areas;
  • State Parks:       YES - CRS 18.12.214
  • State/National Forests:     YES - CRS 18.12.214
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES - CRS 18.12.214
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES
NO

Colorado does not have constitutional carry.

“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

Hours


Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 5600 Flatiron Parkway

CityBoulder, CO 80301

Phone (303) 441-3994

Email jbiekert@bouldercounty.org

 

Updates & Data Sources

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E T GwynnGuestPaulRegistered UserArt Recent comment authors
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Guest
Guest
Guest

My question is i have a current Colorado CCW and I want to carry my carbine pistol in my backpack. Is there a restriction against this or carrying with high capacity magazines purchased and have always been in my possession before July 1,2013?

Registered User
Guest
Registered User

Can a Colorado resident fly in/out of Denver airport with an AR-15 given Denver’s AR-15 restrictions and the fact that the airport is considered part of Denver. Does it matter that the firearms is in a locked case? What about grandfathered full capacity magazines?

Addie
Guest
Addie

Can you conceal carry a handgun that has a 16 round capacity?

Art
Guest
Art

Only up to 15 rounds. This law went into effect July i, 2012

Scott Mitchell
Guest
Scott Mitchell

Awesome information. Thank you. Will refer to this site for more information. Thanks!

Anon
Guest
Anon

I think you mean NCIC check, not NCIS.

Jack J Young
Guest
Jack J Young

Can a felon possesse antique firearms in your state and can I hunt with it being a muzzleloader

Kelly Sandoval
Guest
Kelly Sandoval

Can you carry if you have a misdemeanor 3rd degree assault charge?

Concerned citizen
Guest
Concerned citizen

How do I report someone with a conceal to carry who has had a PFA filed on them and someone that pulled their fire arm around children and others.

Anon
Guest
Anon

You call the police….

Alex
Guest
Alex

Is it illegal to conceal carry a firearm loaded at all times in Colorado? Wether you are driving or not?

Jonathan gore
Guest
Jonathan gore

Something you should add is that the concealed permit is considered legal authority just to clear up some misunderstandings cause when I first read this I was under the impression it wasn’t so I wasn’t allowed to carry one on public transportation among other things which need legal authority so I may have missed where you stated that but as far as I know it isn’t stated anywhere on here

Abby
Guest
Abby

I heard that in Colorado, if you have a conceal carry permit and you carry, no one can see an outline or glimpse of your carry. For example, if you carry in your back waist band and reach up, your shirt cannot expose any portion of your carry. Where can I find the in’s and out’s of conceal carry?

Jonathan gore
Guest
Jonathan gore

Well open carry is legal so unless you are on for example public transportation where concealed carry is allowed (it is legal because it says without legal authority it is a class 6 felony but a permit is considered legal authority) but open carry isn’t or you are in Denver that isn’t a problem at all and I’m pretty sure even if they can see your gun at certain moments most people will just turn a blind eye and I’m pretty sure correct me if I’m wrong that there is no law for that anyways as long as it is… Read more »

alvin
Guest
alvin

so I was a resident of tx and have a ltc from tx i am now a resident of nm with my tx ltc and wish to travel to co. I guess i can carry in the car but not concealed outside the vehicle. Is this correct. thanks

AndyC
Guest
AndyC

Colorado honors Texas permits and Texas honors Colorado permits, and both honor New Mexico and NM honors both.

Tony B.
Guest
Tony B.

So my permit is not honored by CO. Can I carry a concealed pistol unloaded? I was thinking of having a loaded mag in another pocket so everything is separate.

Jonathan gore
Guest
Jonathan gore

No I don’t believe so I’m pretty sure the only way you can have a gun on you is either to apply for one in Colorado if you have a good cause to get one here you can or if you open carry as it is legal

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Just for clarification, I am military and I am currently stationed in Colorado. I have a valid concealed carry for the state of Georgia. If I am reading correctly, I do not need to obtain a Colorado concealed carry, correct?

Jonathan gore
Guest
Jonathan gore

No you don’t need a permit from Colorado both because we honor Georgia’s permit and because I believe you have legal authority since you are in the militar

E T Gwynn
Guest
E T Gwynn

There is a requirement for individuals who move to CO to obtain a CO permit. Not sure how that applies to the military.

Carl Marx
Guest
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

E T Gwynn
Guest
E T Gwynn

It is legal to gift a family member. Since the transaction requires no further authority no further action is required. Keep in mind that the federal legal age for firearms is 18 for long guns and 21 for handguns

Jay Sasaster
Guest
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

Jonathan Gore
Guest
Jonathan Gore

As stated at the top of this site you can get a Colorado concealed gun permit if you have a good cause including frequent travel so if you come to Colorado to hike often then that is a good enough cause to get a permit and even if you don’t go often you still may be able to get one if you state your reasoning but a problem is you will need to apply in person ahead of time and it will take 90 days to get your permit so if you don’t hike here often then it will be… Read more »

Eric Meyn
Guest
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.

Bob Fagnani
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Keith
Guest
Keith

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

Paul
Guest
Paul

According to the ATF: “Generally, a firearm may not lawfully be sold by a licensee to a nonlicensee who resides in a State other than the State in which the seller’s licensed premises is located. However, the sale may be made if the firearm is shipped to a licensee whose business is in the purchaser’s State of residence and the purchaser takes delivery of the firearm from the licensee in his or her State of residence. In addition, a licensee may sell a rifle or shotgun to a person who is not a resident of the State where the licensee’s… Read more »

Pete
Guest
Pete

Love the sight!

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