Colorado Gun Laws
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
Colorado CCW Dashboard
Colorado CCW Reciprocity
How Reciprocity Works in Colorado
Colorado Reciprocity State's
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Colorado Handgun Permit
- Colorado CCW Handgun Permit Requirements
- Colorado CCW Handgun Permit Application
- Colorado CCW Handgun Permit Renewal
- Colorado CCW Handgun Permit Fee's
- 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
Follow these steps to obtain a permit
- Complete a firearms training course.
- Download application under FORMS tab or pickup from your local Sheriffs office.
- You will need the following documents;
- Completed application – DO NOT sign, must be signed in front of Sheriff.
- Firearms training certificate
- Drivers license or state ID card
- Photo – taken within the last thirty days
- Proof of residency
Fingerprints and photographs may be taken at the time the applicant submits the application.
- Permits can be renewed within 120 days before the permits expiry date but not before.
- The permit is allowed to be renewed for up to 60 days after the expiry date, there is a late fee of $15.
- Any permits that have expired for more than 60 days are deemed to be permanently expired and the person will need to start a new application process.
- The renewal application must be submitted to the sheriff in the county a person resides or owns a business in.
- The law states that the renewal fee set by the sheriff is not to exceed $50.
18.12.211 – Renewal of permits
$52.50 is for the state fee. The Sheriff can charge an additional fee up to $100.
Accepted Forms of Payment
Cashier’s check or money order – payable to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Colorado Gun Policy
Permit Issued To
Colorado CCW Handgun Forms
Download Your Forms
Colorado: Places Off-Limits for CCW
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
- School, if firearm is left in a locked vehicle.
- All areas of the state, except those listed as Off-Limits
Pointers: Colorado CCW
Other Colorado Gun Laws
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.
Persons must be at least 18 years old to purchase a long gun and 21 to purchase handguns.
Colorado has nearly full preemption over gun laws. Local governments retain limited control over open carry and are allowed to regulate open carry only in places under their control such as police stations and municipal buildings. Denver City has ordinances in place that ban open carry and assault rifles in the whole city, a violation of the state law. A Colorado Supreme Court ruling has confirmed the validity of Denver’s ordinance despite the state preemption law as Denver’s law existed prior to the preemption law being enacted.
History Of Colorado Gun Laws
Learn Colorado's Gun History
2003 - Shall Issue
2012 - Campus Carry
2013 - Magazine Size
Colorado Concealed Carry Laws
Colorado Gun Laws To Know
YES – Without a permitIf 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
NOColorado does not have constitutional carry.
YESIn 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: 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 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.
(Art. II, § 13)
Colorado Off-Limit Statutes
(1)(a) A permit to carry a concealed handgun authorizes the permittee to carry a concealed handgun in all areas of the state, except as specifically limited in this section. A permit does not authorize the permittee to use a handgun in a manner that would violate a provision of state law. A local government does not have authority to adopt or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would conflict with any provision of this part 2.
(b) A peace officer may temporarily disarm a permittee, incident to a lawful stop of the permittee. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the permittee prior to discharging the permittee from the scene.
(2) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law. Page 18-senate bill 03-024
(3) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvements erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school; except that:
- (a) A permittee may have a handgun on the real property of the public school so long as the handgun remains in his or her vehicle and, if the permittee is not in the vehicle, the handgun is in a compartment within the vehicle and the vehicle is locked.
- (b) A permittee who is employed or retained by contract by a school district as a school security officer may carry a concealed handgun onto the real property, or into any improvement erected thereon, of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school while the permittee is on duty.
- (c) A permittee may carry a concealed handgun on undeveloped real property owned by a school district that is used for hunting or other shooting sports.
(4) A permit issued pursuant to this part 2 does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun into a public building at which:
- (a) Security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices are permanently in place at each entrance to the building;
- (b) Security personnel electronically screen each person who enters the building to determine whether the person is carrying a weapon of any kind; and
- (c) Security personnel require each person who is carrying a weapon of any kind to leave the weapon in possession of security personnel while the person is in the building.
(5) nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to limit, restrict, or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of a private property owner, private tenant, private employer, or private business entity.
(6) the provisions of this section apply to temporary emergency permits issued pursuant to section 18-12- 209
Hunting, Carrying Weapons on Snowmobiles – Prohibitions
(1) It is unlawful for any person to:
- (a) Hunt any wildlife from a snowmobile;
- (b) Operate or ride on any snowmobile with any firearm in his or her possession, unless such firearm is unloaded and enclosed in a carrying case or inserted in a scabbard, or with any bow unless it is unstrung or cased, but this paragraph (b) does not apply to any person to whom the division has issued a permit for the control of predators such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and the like;
Firearms, Explosives, or Incendiary Devices In Facilities of Public Transportation
A person commits a class 6 felony if, without legal authority, he has any loaded firearm or explosive or incendiary device, as defined in section 9-7-103, C.R.S., in his possession in, or carries, brings, or causes to be carried or brought any of such items into, any facility of public transportation, as defined in section 18-9- 115 (4).
Other Colorado CCW Statutes
(2) (a) A permittee, in compliance with the terms of a permit, may carry a concealed handgun as allowed by state law. The permittee shall carry the 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. Failure to produce a permit upon demand by a law enforcement officer raises a rebuttable presumption that the person does not have a permit. Failure to carry and produce a permit and valid photo identification upon demand as required in this subsection (2) is a class 1 petty offense. A charge of failure to carry and produce a permit and valid photo identification upon demand pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be dismissed by the court if, at or before the permittee’s scheduled court appearance, the permittee exhibits to the court a valid permit and valid photo identification, both of which were issued to the permittee prior to the date on which the permittee was charged with failure to carry and produce a permit and valid photo identification upon demand.
Permit Contents – Validity – Carrying Requirements.
(3) (a) a person who may lawfully possess a handgun may carry a handgun under the following circumstances without obtaining a permit and the handgun shall not be considered concealed:
(I) the handgun is in the possession of a person who is in a private automobile or in some other private means of conveyance and who carries the handgun for a legal use, including self-defense.
Possession Of A Loaded Firearm In A Motor Vehicle.
It is unlawful for any person, except a person authorized by law or by the division, to possess or have under his control any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of such firearm is unloaded. Any person in possession or in control of a rifle or shotgun in a motor vehicle shall allow any peace officer, as defined in section 33-1-102 (32), who is empowered and acting under the authority granted in section 33-6-101 to enforce articles 1 to 6 of this title to inspect the chamber of any rifle or shotgun in the motor vehicle. For the purposes of this section, a “muzzle-loader” shall be considered unloaded if it is not primed, and, for such purpose, “primed” means having a percussion cap on the nipple or flint in the striker and powder in the flash pan. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars and an assessment of fifteen license suspension points.
Regulation – Carrying – Posting
A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government’s jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.
Large-Capacity Magazines Prohibited – Penalties – Exceptions.
- (a) except as otherwise provided in this section, on and after July 1,2013, a person who sells, transfers, or possesses a large-capacity magazine commits a class 2 misdemeanor.
- (b) any person who violates subsection (1) of this section after having been convicted of a prior violation of said subsection (1) commits a class 1 misdemeanor.
- (c) any person who violates subsection (1) of this section commits a class 6 felony if the person possessed a large-capacity magazine during the commission of a felony or any crime of violence, as defined in section 18-1.3-406.
(2) (a) a person may possess a large-capacity magazine if he or she:
- (I) Owns the large-capacity magazine on July 1, 2013; and
- (II) maintains continuous possession of the large-capacity magazine.
(b) if a person who is alleged to have violated subsection (1) of this section asserts that he or she is permitted to legally possess a large-capacity magazine pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), the prosecution has the burden of proof to refute the assertion.
(b)(1) Assault weapon shall include all firearms with any of the following characteristics: d. Any firearm which has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined herein. e. Any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including a detachable magazine with a capacity of twenty-one (21) or more rounds, or any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.
Limitation On Local Ordinances Regarding Firearms In Private Vehicles.
(1) The general assembly hereby finds that:
- (a) A person carrying a weapon in a private automobile or other Private means of conveyance for hunting or for lawful protection of such Person’s or another’s person or property, as permitted in sections 18-12-105 (2)
- (b) and 18-12-105.5 (3) (c), may tend to travel within a county, city and county, or municipal jurisdiction or in or through different County, city and county, and municipal jurisdictions, en route to the Person’s destination; (b) Inconsistent laws exist in local jurisdictions with regard to the Circumstances under which weapons may be carried in automobiles and Other private means of conveyance;
- (c) This inconsistency creates a confusing patchwork of laws that Unfairly subjects a person who lawfully travels with a weapon in or through One jurisdiction to criminal penalties because he or she travels within a jurisdiction or into or through another jurisdiction;
- (d) This inconsistency places citizens in the position of not knowing When they may be violating local laws while traveling within a jurisdiction or in, through, or between different jurisdictions, and Therefore being unable to avoid committing a crime.
- (a)Based on the findings specified in subsection (1) of this Section, the general assembly concludes that the carrying of weapons in Private automobiles or other private means of conveyance for hunting or For lawful protection of a person’s or another’s person or property while Traveling into, or through, or within, a municipal, county, or city and County jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person stops in A jurisdiction, is a matter of statewide concern and is not an offense.
- (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no municipality, County, or city and county shall have the authority to enact or enforce any Ordinance or resolution that would restrict a person’s ability to travel with A weapon in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance FOR HUNTING OR for lawful protection of a person’s or another’s person or Property while traveling into, or through, or within, a municipal, county, Or city and county jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person Stops in a jurisdiction.
(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.
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.
The Governor and Disaster Emergencies – Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee – Creation
(1) The governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters.
(2) Under this part 7, the governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and regulations and amend or rescind them. Executive orders, proclamations, and regulations have the force and effect of law.
(6) During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the governor is commander-in-chief of the organized and unorganized militia and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but nothing in this section restricts the governor’s authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.
(7) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the governor by law, the governor may:
- (a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;
- (b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;
- (d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 24-33.5-711, commandeer or utilize any private property if the governor finds this necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;
- (f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation;
- (g) Control ingress to and egress from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;
- (h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, or combustibles;
Colorado CCW FAQ's
The processing time to receive a new permit is 90 days.
Colorado CCW Contact
Boulder County Sheriff
Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Address 5600 Flatiron Parkway
CityBoulder, CO 80301
Phone (303) 441-3994
Email [email protected]
Updates & Data Sources
|1/19/18||Updated Tennessee page|
|1/14/18||Update Washington, Colorado pages|
|1/7/18||Updated South Carolina, DC pages|
|1/1/18||Updated New York page|
|12/28/17||Updated Arizona pge|
|12/25/17||Updated Utah page to mobile friendly design, will roll out to other pages over next few months.|
|12/9/17||Updated Texas page|
|12/6/17||Updated California and Hawaii page, Hawaii page only partially completed.|
|12/1/17||Ohio page finished|
|11/24/17||Updated Washington DC to Shall Issue|
|11/8/17||Update Illinois page|
|11/1/17||Updated Florida and Alabama pages|
|10/12/17||Updated Ohio page, added new sections to statistics page|
|10/5/17||Added video section to Florida page|
|10/3/17||Updated Nevada page|
|10/2/17||Updated Georgia page|
|9/30/17||Updated Texas page|
|9/30/17||Entered new figures for latest 2017 NICS checks on Statistics page|
|9/29/17||Updated Pennsylvania page|
|9/26/17||Updated Florida page, added new links, forms and sections|
|7/22/17||updated permit numbers to latest figures|
|6/29/17||Updated permit numbers to 14,917,279|
|6/17/17||updated interface, added new travel info and other sections.|
- Crime Prevention Research Center
- Colorado General Assembly – Statutory Reports
- http://www.leg.state.co.us/library/reports.nsf/ReportsDoc. xsp?documentId=D6727350F8E058DB87256E6600773612 CBI Firearms InstaCheck Unit – Firearm Statistics
- https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cbi/currentyearstatistics CBI Firearms InstaCheck Unit – Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) Fees
- CBI Firearms InstaCheck Unit – Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) Statutes C.R.S. 18-12-204
- http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/?app=0007 5&view=full&interface=1&docinfo=off&searchtype=get&se arch=C.R.S.+18-12-