These two statutes regarding firearms are enforceable by any certified peace officer in the state. It is important to note that even though the laws differ in their language, it is an individual's responsibility to abide by all sections of each statute in order to be in compliance.
Title 18: Colorado allows a person to carry a firearm in a vehicle if its use is for lawful protection of such person or another's person or property. [C.R.S. 18-12-105(2)] Colorado law also allows a person to possess a handgun in a dwelling, place of business, or automobile. However, when you carry the weapon into your home, business, hotel room, etc. it must be in plain view. Local jurisdictions may not enact laws that restrict a person's ability to travel with a weapon. [C.R.S. 18-12-105.6] The Act permits the nationwide carrying of concealed handguns by qualified current and retired law enforcement officers and amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Pub. L. 90-618, 82 Stat. 1213) to exempt qualified current and retired law enforcement officers from state and local laws prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms.
Title 33: In accordance with Colorado wildlife laws, including C.R.S. 33-6-125, you may carry a weapon in your vehicle. However 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. 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. For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife statutes and regulations visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
Colorado firearm legislation includes:
- HB 19-1177 - Extreme Risk Protection Order
- SB 13-197 - Domestic Violence Firearm Relinquishment
- HB 13-1224 - Large Capacity Magazine Ban
- Technical Guidance on the Interpretation and Application of House Bill 13-1224 Large Capacity Magazine Ban
- Additional Technical Guidance on the Interpretation and Application of House Bill 13-1224 Large Capacity Magazine Ban
- HB 13-1228 - InstaCheck Cash Funding
- HB 13-1229 - Private Firearm Transfers
- Can I open carry in Colorado?
- The actual open carrying of firearms is regulated by local county and municipal authorities. Confirmation of open carry municipal code restrictions would have to be done with those local authorities. Generally, most city municipal codes are posted on-line for review by the public.
- Who is allowed to own a firearm in Colorado?
- You must be at least 18 years old and must not have any state or federal prohibitions in order to own a firearm in Colorado. View a summary of state and federal prohibitions here.
- Is it legal to carry a weapon in Colorado National Forests?
While visiting National Forests in Colorado, you may carry a weapon. However, in addition to state laws, you must comply with Federal Regulations pertaining to the use of a firearm on National Forest System lands.
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)]
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.
- How do I transport firearms through National Parks in Colorado?
In accordance with 16 USC 1a-7b, in any national park, a person may possess a firearm if such possession is in compliance with the laws of the State in which the national park area is located. Therefore, in any national park in the State of Colorado, Colorado’s laws would apply. Another Federal statute, in particular 18 USC 930, prohibits firearms or other dangerous weapons within a “Federal facility,” defined as a “a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.” In national parks, such facilities may include visitor centers, administrative offices, and/or maintenance buildings. Any such facilities will be clearly marked with signs at all public entrances. For more information about national parks, and park-specific regulations, visit the National Park Service website and search by park name, location (state), activity, or topic.
- How do I obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit?
- A permit to carry a concealed weapon may be obtained through the Sheriff of the county in which you live. You must meet certain requirements to qualify for the permit. [C.R.S. 18-12-203] Consult your local Sheriff's Department for more information obtaining a permit. You can find the current CHP fees here. The permit and a valid photo identification must be carried with the handgun at all times. A permit is not required and a handgun is not considered concealed when a person is in a private automobile or other private transportation. [C.R.S. 18-12-105 (2)] Find more information on Colorado's Concealed Handgun Permit statutes here.
- I am visiting from out of state, is my Concealed Handgun Permit valid in Colorado?
A permit to carry a concealed weapon that is issued to a person (who is at least 21 years of age) by another state will be considered valid in Colorado if the other state, in turn, recognized Colorado's concealed handgun permits. [C.R.S. 18-12-105.6]
You can check Colorado's reciprocity with other states here.
- Am I required to register my weapon in the State of Colorado?
- The State of Colorado prohibits gun registration. CRS 29-11.7-102
- What is the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act?
- The Act permits the nationwide carrying of concealed handguns by qualified current and retired law enforcement officers and amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Pub. L. 90-618, 82 Stat. 1213) to exempt qualified current and retired law enforcement officers from state and local laws prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms. Apply for Retired Commissioned Officers Firearms Training.
- I have questions about purchasing or selling a firearm.
- Please visit the CBI Firearms FAQ page for answers to the most frequently asked questions about firearms transfers (purchases and sales).
- Can I own a high-capacity magazine in Colorado or bring a high-capacity magazine into Colorado when I visit?
- House Bill 13-1224 prohibits the sale, transfer, and possession of "large-capacity ammunition magazines." The Colorado Attorney General provided guidance for interpreting the law in these two documents: