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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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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jamesGregory DycheFelipeKevinRandy Recent comment authors
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james
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james

In hotel/motel where there is a bar that is not open all hours, can i carry during the hours the bar is not open?.

Gregory Dyche
Guest
Gregory Dyche

How many guns may I open carry? (my western rig has two holsters for my SA Rugers, thinking of using it for open carry)

Felipe
Guest
Felipe

I live in New Mexico but I travel to colorado often would I be allowed to open carry or would I have to get a concealed to carry

Randy
Guest
Randy

I have magazines with capacity of 10 and 15 rounds for my 9mm handgun, are these legal in Colorado??

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Can a one time convicted Felon from North Dakota (Deferred Imposition of sentence -Dismissed 1987) living in Colorado since 1986 pass a NICS background check, purchase 14 firearms from Colorado dealers, 2 Suppressors from Colorado dealers with tax stamps and receive a CCW in Colorado?

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Let me clarify-I have already purchased the items stated above by going through Colorado dealers legally.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I am an Arkansas CCW permit holder and I will be desperate camping in National Forest for 2 or 3 months this fall. CO laws are confusing. I understand CO does not accept my permit. Ok, what is my legal status to open carry for animal defense while camping or hiking the mountains

Chris Powell
Guest
Chris Powell

The information above for Colorado is a bit misleading in regards to no weapons signage. But any privately owned property may post No Weapons signage and it has to be honored by all persons including CCW holders. An individual or entities right to prohibit weapons shall not be prohibited. CRS 18-12-214 part (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. This is of importance to locations such as hospitals, stadiums, etc.

Silas
Guest
Silas

Hi. I am new to Colorado and want to bring a couple of my late father’s rifles here. How would I go about doing that? Thanks in advance

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

Is it illegal to carry my handgun in my backpack if it doesn’t have bullet in chamber but clip is in gun with bullets in clip

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

as a CCW holder? of any state? Sounds like a concealed weapon to me. Get the CCW

Roy
Guest
Roy

Do you mean “Magazine”? You should take a gun safety course to learn the correct terminology, and get a concealed license before carrying in your backpack. They explain all the laws you will encounter.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Just curious about who made this technical terminology and why do people care

Roxanne M Wright
Guest
Roxanne M Wright

What is the law to transport guns that are not in your name, cross state lines from New Mexico to Colorado.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Colorado does not register the guns, but the dealers and sellers may have a record (they are supposed to legally). So if the gun is in your possession then it can be yours (or someone else’s). It’s just a gun. Also, running guns across state lines is not a good idea (legally speaking). Private gun sales happen all the time between law abiding individuals. Gifts are given. Stay safe.

Nancy Speichinger
Guest
Nancy Speichinger

We are colorado residents

Nancy Speichinger
Guest
Nancy Speichinger

My son purchased a hand gun for his girl friend and she passed the back ground check and now they are broke up and she does not want the gun. She wants him to get the gun out of her name and put the gun in his name. How do you go about doing that?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Colorado does not register the guns, but the dealers and sellers may have a record. So if the gun is in your possession then it can be yours or someone else’s. It’s just a gun.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Print a firearm bill of sale and have both parties sign and retain a copy.

Kristopher
Guest
Kristopher

Looking to leave IL in the next few years and move to CO. I am wondering what is legally required regarding CO and registration of firearms.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Colorado law forbids the registration of a firearm so you do not have to register any firearms. It only requires you to obtain a concealed firearms permit if carrying concealed otherwise state law does allow for open carry where it is not federally prohibited or in the case of the City of Denver which prohibits open carrying. You are allowed possess a loaded handgun (pistol or revolver) in your car but any long guns (rifle or shotgun) must be unloaded at all times while transporting The transfer of a magazine over 15 rounds is prohibited but possession is perfectly legal.… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Paul, if I move to Colorado and own 30 round mags for my AR, I may bring them with me, possess them but could never transfer them, correct?

Rich
Guest
Rich

My employer prohibits firearms on their property. In Colorado am I allowed to keep a firearm in my locked private vehicle while parked on their property (parking lot)?

Bobby
Guest
Bobby

Hello. I am a Colorado resident with a Colorado, weld county issued concealed carry permit. I am an avid gun collector and own an assault rifle . I currently live in Thornton/Adams county where the assault rifle is stored. I am a law-abiding citizen. If I move to Denver county and take the assault rifle with me, what would happen? If I store it in my home, and only transport it for shooting purposes to ranges, what are the risks and or implications of owning that they are all living in Denver County? What if I were able to list… Read more »

Roy
Guest
Roy

What do you consider an “Assault” rifle. If it is like an AR15, that is NOT an assault rifle, it is a semi-automatic. Assault weapons are fully automatic and Illegal to own.

Chris Schroeder
Guest
Chris Schroeder

I am a CCL permit holder in Illinois and since Colorado does not have Reciprocity With Illinois can I still have a handgun in my vehicle loaded ?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

yes (as long as another criterion does not disqualify you from carrying the weapon). Doesn’t matter what state your from. If you are in Colorado, you can have the handgun concealed in your vehicle. It’s also not necessary to notify a LEO if stopped for traffic; consider it optional.
Seems weird for out of staters, but laws is laws.

Kory
Guest
Kory

I’ll be traveling through Colorado in October 2019. How or what do I need to do to travel through this state legally with my 2 hand guns?

Bob
Guest
Bob

It tells you on this page… you can have a firearm or two in your personal vehicle, wherever you want keep them and you need not tell anyone especially police if you are stopped for traffic infractions etc. Firearms can be loaded. Rifles cannot have a chambered round if you are hunting with a hunting license and admit you are hunting to any officer. Denver City & County has restrictions about loaded weapons but simply keep them in glove box, trunk or any place hidden. Never answer any questions a n officer asks anywhere in the USA! Best advice is… Read more »

Alan
Guest
Alan

I’m seeking the answer to the question

margaret
Guest
margaret

I know someone that has dv charges and violation of protection order charges and he owns a long gun. He asked someone to hold on to it for him when he was
foreclosed on and had to move. He is now asking to have that firearm back. What laws are there in this situation?

Rob
Guest
Rob

Giving a weapon to a knowen prohibited person is a crime. Period. You can continue to hold the weapon untill they get their legal status changed, or surrender the weapon to law enforcement. You could purchase the weapon. At least that way they are reimbursed for the weapon. I can assure if law enforcement had taken the weapon because he lost the right to own it they wouldn’t pay him for it. Last option you can give the weapon to a person that the original owner designates assuming that person isn’t prohibited. I would recommend you go through an FFL… Read more »

Graham
Guest
Graham

Can you loan a firearm to a convicted felon for personal use? If that firearm was used in a violent crime can you be charged with loaning the firearm to the felon?

Matt
Guest
Matt

What the hell do you think…. look up straw purchase.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I am a Missouri resident and will be traveling in Colorado soon. Being that Missouri is a Constitutional Carry state, I do not have a permit. If I’m understanding this correctly, I will be allowed to carry in my vehicle but not on my person w/o having a Colorado permit. Is that correct?

Danny
Guest
Danny

Yes I called and verified carrying requirements for Colorado with the state patrol before my trip to Colorado on March 8th 2019. To legally carry on your person you must have a concealed carry permit from Missouri if you are a Missouri resident

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Thanks, Danny. Much appreciated.