Laws regarding Long Guns
Colorado has no specific laws regarding the registration of long guns, or permits to buy, outside of federal regulations. The minimum age to own a rifle or shotgun is 18 years old
“Assault Weapons” Law
While Colorado itself does not have an assault weapons ban, the capital city of Denver has had one in place since 1989. Challenged twice, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 1994 that the Denver Assault Weapon Ban was constitutional (although we disagree). In 2003, it survived even when a new state law wiped out all local gun laws. Denver Code Chapter 38, Article IV, Division 2, Section 38-130 (e) defines assault weapons as roughly any centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine capable of holding more than 15 rounds.
Interestingly, Denver does have a provision in the law for people who are non-residents, who are transporting an “assault weapon” or “high capacity magazines” through the city or county, where the law does not apply to them. Which is a great example of how gun control really is about controlling the citizens. If they believed that those firearms were truly dangerous and shouldn’t be owned by civilians, why would they let outsiders bring them in with impunity?
The city of Vail also has it’s own assault weapons ban.
Laws regarding Hand Guns
Age to Own a Handgun
The age to own a handgun is 18 years old in Colorado. Keep in mind, the age to buy a handgun from a federally licensed FFL is 21 (and that’s a federal law). Since interpersonal transfers or sales must go through an FFL in Colorado, that means the only way you can acquire one to own prior to your 21st birthday is by receiving it as a gift from a parent or grandparent.
Colorado has no laws requiring a permit or special application process to own a handgun. You do not need a special permit to own a handgun or pistol in the state of Colorado.
Despite not being a Constitutional Carry state (and we’re working on that), Colorado does have fairly good laws when it comes to carrying a weapon for self defense, hunting, or any other reason you may want to carry it.
Colorado is an open carry state, with no permit needed to do so. You are able to legally carry a handgun, rifle, or shotgun with no permit needed so long as it is not concealed, and you are not in any are posted where it is not permitted.
Unsurprisingly, Denver also has laws against open carry, and it is not permitted inside the city limits.
Colorado is a “shall issue” state, meaning that as long as you follow the requirements, and are legally able to own a firearm, Colorado will issue you a carry permit. A single class is required, and then the completion certificate is presented to your local sheriff. State law gives the Sheriff 90 days to approve or deny your application and issue your permit, and if they have not responded in that 90 day window, your application is automatically approved.
Laws Regarding 80% Lowers
Colorado has no laws restricting the purchase, use, or ownership of 80% receiver products. Colorado residents are free to build their own privately made firearms.
Laws regarding Magazine Capacity
Unfortunately, Colorado does have laws restricting magazine capacity to 15 rounds or less (C.R.S. 18-12-302). After July 1, 2013, no magazines that were owned on or after that date may be sold, transferred, or possessed unless they were owned prior to that date. Exempt weapons include rimfire (but only with tubular magazines), and lever action rifles. Seven years later, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the magazine ban, stating it was constitutional, which really just shows that they don’t understand the Constitution.
Vail, Colorado has had its own magazine since 1994 restricting magazines to no more than… 21 rounds. That’s the magic number they landed on.
Laws regarding NFA Items
Colorado has no specific laws regarding the restrictions of NFA items, provided they are in accordance with its other laws.
There an no laws restricting short barrel rifles or short barrel shotguns in Colorado. The only exception to this would be in a municipality like Denver which has outlawed “assault weapons”, which the SBR may fall under depending on the magazine being used in it.
Suppressors or Silencers
Colorado has no laws restricting the use or ownership of suppressors so long as they are owned and possessed in accordance with federal guidelines.
Colorado has no laws restricting the use or ownership of machine guns so long as they are possessed in accordance with federal guidelines. However, machine guns with 15 round magazines are only about 1 second of fun.
Colorado has no laws restricting the use or ownership of AOWs so long as they are possessed in accordance with federal guidelines. However, machine guns with 15 round magazines are only about 1 second of fun.
Red Flag Laws
Unfortunately, Colorado DOES have Red Flag Laws on the books (HB 19-1177). The 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. Completely unconstitutional, but if you’re reading this, we’re probably preaching to the choir on that.
Disclaimer: All information in this blog is for informational purposes only. Always double check your state and local laws. Laws are subject to change, and the information in this blog may not be up-to-date or accurate.