Colorado Gun Laws
Subject/LawLong gunsHandgunsRelevant StatutesNotes
State permit required to purchase?NoNo
Firearm registration?NoNo
Assault weapon law?NoNoDRMC § 38-130Denver ordinance bans assault weapons. Vail banned assault weapons in 1994.[41] Boulder passed such an ordinance in May 2018.[42] However, the assault weapon ordinances for Vail and Boulder are not currently enforceable due to Colorado’s statewide pre-emption law.
Magazine Capacity Restriction?YesYesCRS §§ 18-12-302, 18-12-303After July 1, 2013, magazines holding more than 15 rounds may not be sold, transferred, or possessed unless they were lawfully owned prior to July 1, 2013. Firearms with a tubular magazine which are either chambered in .22 rimfire or operated by lever action are exempt from this regulation, as are magazines “permanently altered” to limit the capacity to 15 or less. Boulder passed an ordinance in May 2018 banning magazines holding more than 10 rounds (15 for handguns).[42] [43] Vail banned magazines holding 21 or more rounds in 1994.[44]
Owner license required?NoNo
Permit required for concealed carry?N/AYesCRS § 18-12-203Colorado is a shall issue state for concealed carry. Permits are issued by local sheriff offices to county residents.
Permit required for open carry?NoNoCRS § 18-12;
DRMC §§ 38-117(b), 38-118
Legal without permit requirements except in Denver and other posted areas.
Concealed within a vehicle?YesYesCRS §§ 18-12-105(2b), 33-6-125;
DRMC §§ 38-117(f), 38-118, 14-92
No permit is required. Pistols may be carried with chamber and magazine loaded. Rifles and shotguns must be carried with an empty chamber if the owner is in possession of a valid hunting license and that hunting season is in progress. Rounds in the magazine are permitted during that hunting season. A loaded weapon in a vehicle and a spotlight is prima facie evidence that one was attempting to illegally take game. Wildlife officers have full law enforcement powers.
State Preemption of local restrictions?YesYesCRS § 29-11.7-103Local ordinances are preempted by state law, but Denver bans assault weapons and open carry.
NFA weapons restricted?NoNoCRS § 18-12-102NFA items are defined as a “dangerous weapon”. Subsection 5: “It shall be an affirmative defense to the charge of possessing a dangerous weapon…that said person has a valid permit and license for possession of such weapon.”
Peaceable Journey laws?YesYesCRS § 18-12-105.6; DRMC §§ 38-117(f), 38-118Denver’s restrictions on transport/possession of firearms in vehicles do not apply to persons traveling to or from other jurisdictions; see Trinen v. City & County of Denver, 53 P.3d 754
Castle Doctrine?YesYesCRS § 18-1-704.5A legal resident of a property has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves, other occupants, and property from armed or unarmed intruders.
Stand Your Ground Law?NoNo
Background checks required for private sales?YesYesCRS § 18-12-112For private party transfers of firearms, the seller must request that a licensed dealer perform a background check of the buyer, and must get approval of the transfer from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Transfers of antique firearms, bona-fide gifts or loans from immediate family members, and transfers to estate executors or trustees are exempt. Temporary transfers are strictly regulated.
Red flag law?YesYesHB 19-1177The police may temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are threatening to harm themselves or others or have been accused of the same by someone who resides at the same address of the subject, and then get a court order afterwards.


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