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Last Updated on: 14th December 2023, 04:45 pm
Colorado Gun Laws (With 2023 Legal Updates)
Colorado gun laws can be kinda confusing and complicated, with new laws passed in 2023. As a Colorado resident who owns guns, you gotta make sure you follow all the legal rules or you could end up in some hot water. I’ll break things down in this article so you can understand your rights and responsibilities as a Colorado gun owner.
One of the biggest gun laws in Colorado is around background checks. If you wanna buy a gun from a licensed dealer, you need to pass a federal and state background check no matter what. That’s been the law for awhile now.But in 2023, they passed a new law closing the “gun show loophole.” Now if you buy a gun from a private individual, like your buddy or some rando at a gun show, you both need to find a licensed gun dealer to facilitate the transfer and run the background checks before completing the sale. Kinda a pain, but it is what it is.If you got a criminal record with domestic violence or other convictions, that’ll show up on the check and you’ll probably be denied. Past mental health issues could also cause problems. Pro tip: might be better to have a clean friend or family member make the purchase for you if you’re worried about passing.
There’s minimum ages to own guns in Colorado now. You gotta be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer. Long guns like rifles only require you to be 18.If you’re under 18 but at least 14 years old, you can possess a handgun with parent/guardian supervision, like if you’re target shooting together. Under 14 and you’re outta luck though. No handgun possession allowed whatsoever.
Up until 2023, you didn’t need any kinda permit or license to buy a gun in Colorado. They passed a new law now requiring you get a permit before purchase, but it doesn’t take effect until 2024.Starting next year, you’ll need to take a gun safety course, pass a written test, submit fingerprints, and pay a fee to get the purchase permit. Then you gotta show the permit to the dealer when buying any gun. Kind of a hassle but they say it’ll improve public safety. We’ll see…The new law doesn’t affect concealed carry permits. You still don’t need one of those to have a concealed handgun in Colorado. As long as you can legally possess the gun, you can conceal it without any special license.
Magazine Capacity Limits
Ever since that Aurora movie theater shooting, Colorado has banned high capacity magazines over 15 rounds. You can still buy ‘em but they gotta be permanently altered to only hold 15 rounds max.That means if you got grandfathered full capacity mags from before the ban, using them could be a felony. You gotta pin ‘em, weld ‘em, whatever so they can’t hold more than 15 rounds. Kinda sucks but better than turning your mags in or getting rid of ‘em.
Firearm Storage Laws
If you got kids in your home, you gotta be real careful how you store your guns in Colorado. New 2023 laws say you gotta keep all firearms locked up in a safe or with a trigger lock.If a kid gets access to your unsecured firearm, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even felony in some cases. Those charges get pretty serious if a kid uses the gun to hurt themselves or someone else. So lock ‘em up tight!They also passed a new law saying if your gun gets lost or stolen, you gotta report it to the cops within 5 days…kinda weird if you ask me. But failure to report is a civil infraction.
Concealed Carry Laws
Like I said earlier, you don’t need any special permit to carry concealed in Colorado. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still rules you gotta follow.You can’t conceal carry in federal buildings like post offices. And private businesses can ban guns on their property too. Look for no firearms signs so you don’t get in trouble!Some public buildings like schools are off limits too. And it’s still illegal to conceal carry when you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.Local cities and counties can regulate open carry too. So check local laws before strapping that pistol to your hip out in the open. Things vary from place to place.
“Red Flag” Extreme Risk Laws
Colorado has had “red flag” laws since 2019 that allow courts to temporarily take away someone’s guns if they’re deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Mental health professionals, family members and even law enforcement can petition the court for an extreme risk protection order.If granted, the person has to immediately surrender all firearms for at least 14 days. And they’re prohibited from buying new ones during that time. After the initial period, there will be a hearing to determine if the protection order should be extended up to one year.These red flag laws are controversial. Supporters say they help prevent suicides and violence from people in crisis. But opponents argue they violate due process rights. If someone tries getting an order against you, definitely lawyer up.
That covers the major bases on Colorado gun laws. Stuff’s always changing though with new bills introduced each year. So stay informed on the current rules and your rights as a responsible gun owner here.The laws aren’t perfect and some restrictions kinda suck for us gun enthusiasts. But following them keeps us all safe while protecting the 2nd Amendment. Stay knowledgeable, know the laws, and happy shooting!
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