Russell Hebets Feb. 5, 2013

Gun laws are a very hot topic these days in light of the tragic mass shootings that have occurred nationwide in recent years. This blog, and others to follow, will discuss the current implementation of Colorado’s gun laws. We introduce this series with a discussion of Colorado Concealed Weapons (CCW) laws.

First of all, let’s discuss situations that do not require aconcealedweapons permit. Colorado allows a person to carry a firearm in a vehicle, loaded or unloaded, 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, you cannot carry the weapon concealed on or about your person while transporting it into your home, business, hotel room, etc. Local jurisdictions may not enact laws that restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon. [C.R.S. 18-12-105.6] Current and retired law enforcement officials may also carry without a concealed weapon permit.

In just about every other situation, a citizen must have a Colorado concealed weapons permit in order to carry in public. Colorado is a “may issue” state, meaning that not everyone gets to have a concealed weapon as a matter of right. The permits are issued by the Sheriff of the county where the applicant resides. Certain statutory requirements must be met. C.R.S. 18-12-203 outlines the criteria for who may and may not apply. Obvious requirements are covered in the statute, such as no felony convictions or active restraining orders, firearm training prerequisites, and the applicant must be 21 or older. Lacking in the statute is any requirement for sheriff’s to investigate the mental health of the applicant. However, the Sheriff does have the discretion to deny a permit if the sheriff “has a reasonable belief that documented previous behavior by the applicant will present a danger to self or others. [CRS 18-12-103(3)(a)].

A Colorado concealed weapon permit contains the holder’s identifying information, including photo. It is valid for five years, and may be renewed. It must be carried at all times the holder is carrying a firearm. If you are ever charged with a gun crime these charges are serious and you should consult a Denver criminal lawyer.

As of this writing, there have been no proposed changes to Colorado’s concealed weapon law, but with sweeping legislation being considered nationally, we will keep our readers posted on future changes.