Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Jim & Sarah Brady
 Home   Action Center   Facts   Legislation   About Us/Press   Donate Now   Store 

COLORADO

Click on the links below to see a detailed description of Colorado's gun laws or check the table to the right for quick reference.

ALERTS:  

 

Contact Your Legisators

   
Protect Colorado Gun Laws

Congratulations. Thanks to activists like you and our law enforcement allies, we blocked an effort by gun lobby extremists to weaken Colorado's law requiring background checks at gun shows - which was overwhelmingly passed by voters just a couple years ago.

Now we need your help to pass strong, sensible gun laws.

Please use these links to tell Governor Bill Owens and your state legislators that you support responsible gun laws.

LINKS:

Annual State Report Card - Keeping Kids Safe
Get Active! Join Our E-Mail Alert System

Contact Your Local Million Mom March Chapter
ATF Detailed Summary of State Gun Laws
Colorado Ceasefire
Email a letter to Colorado media
SAFE Colorado


 COLORADO STATE LAWS - Click On Law Below For Details

Anti-Trafficking
Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun sales?

No  

Assault Weapons
Are there limitations on assault weapons and magazines?

No  

Attorney General Regulations
May Attorney General regulate guns?

No  

Background Check At State Level
Do state police perform a background check in addition to federal NICS check?

Yes  

Ballistic Fingerprinting
Must handguns be ballistic fingerprinted prior to sale?

No  

CCW Limits
May police limit carrying concealed handguns?

No  

Child Access Prevention - CAP
Are gun owners held accountable for leaving guns accessible to kids?

No  

Child-Safety Locks
Must locking devices be sold with guns?

No  

Gun Manufacturer Accountability
Do cities have authority to hold gun makers legally liable?

No  

Gun Show Checks
Are background checks required at gun shows?

Yes  

Juvenile Possession
Are minors restricted from possessing guns?

Partial  

Juvenile Sale
Is it illegal to sell guns to kids?

Partial  

License or Permit to Purchase
Is a license/permit required to buy handguns?

No  

Local Gun Laws - Preemption
May cities enact laws stronger than the state's?

No  

Record Keeping
May police maintain gun sale records?

No  

Registration
Are all guns registered with law enforcement?

No  

Safety Standards
Are there consumer safety standards on guns?

No  

Safety Training
Is safety training required for handgun buyers?

No  

Saturday Night Specials
Are there limitations on 'junk' handguns?

No  

School Zones
Is it illegal for CCW permit holders to carry guns into schools?

Partial  

Secondary Sales
Are background checks required on 'private' gun sales?

Partial  

Waiting Period
Is there a waiting period on gun sales?

No  


ANTI-TRAFFICKING
Is there a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun sales?  No

Colorado - No state restrictions on gun-trafficking such as a limit on the number of handguns that can be purchased at one time. Gun traffickers can easily buy large quantities of handguns at gun stores and resell them on the street to criminals.

Return to the Menu

ASSAULT WEAPONS
Are there limitations on assault weapons and magazines?  No

Colorado - No state restriction on the sale or possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons like the AK47 and Uzi. Assault weapons are as easy to buy as hunting rifles. No restriction on the sale or possession of rapid-fire ammunition magazines that can fire up to 100 bullets without reloading. Federal law does prevent the sale of some assault weapons and rapid-fire magazines manufactured after 1994, but the federal law will sunset in 2004 unless Congress and President Bush renew it.

Return to the Menu

ATTORNEY GENERAL REGULATIONS
May Attorney General regulate guns?  No

Colorado - State law does not clearly authorize the Attorney General to independently regulate firearms or establish gun safety standards as part of the Attorney General?s responsibility to protect consumers.

Return to the Menu

BACKGROUND CHECK AT STATE LEVEL
Do state police perform a background check in addition to federal NICS check?  Yes

State law requires gun buyers to go through a state-based criminal background check in addition to the federal NICS check. This is the best system since it includes checking both state and federal records to prevent criminals and other prohibited people from buying guns. Colorado had briefly relied solely on the federal NICS check but returned to a state-based check after the NICS check failed to stop a tragic case involving a prohibited gun buyer.

Return to the Menu

BALLISTIC FINGERPRINTING
Must handguns be ballistic fingerprinted prior to sale?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that gun dealers or manufacturers provide police with sample bullets/cartridges or digital images of bullets/cartridges prior to the sale of a handgun, ?ballistic fingerprinting,? which would assist police in tracing bullets at crime scenes to the guns that fired them.

Return to the Menu

CCW LIMITS
May police limit carrying concealed handguns?  No

Colorado - State law forces police to let almost anyone carry a concealed handgun in public, posing a dangerous threat to police and public safety.

Return to the Menu

CHILD ACCESS PREVENTION - CAP
Are gun owners held accountable for leaving guns accessible to kids?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that gun owners take responsible steps to prevent children from gaining easy access to their firearms. Gun owners are not held accountable for leaving loaded guns around kids, even if a young child shoots themselves or someone else with a gun left in plain sight.

Return to the Menu

CHILD-SAFETY LOCKS
Must locking devices be sold with guns?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that guns be sold with child-safety locks that could prevent a tragic accident. Child-safety locks cost as little as $10 and could save lives if sold with firearms.

Return to the Menu

GUN MANUFACTURER ACCOUNTABILITY
Do cities have authority to hold gun makers legally liable?  No

Colorado - State law forbids city and county governments from taking any legal action to hold gun manufacturers accountable, even when they act irresponsibly in the way they design, market or distribute weapons. No other industry enjoys such special immunity for irresponsible conduct. Individuals are also prohibited from filing certain lawsuits that would hold gun manufacturers liable for wrongful conduct.

Return to the Menu

GUN SHOW CHECKS
Are background checks required at gun shows?  Yes

Colorado - State law requires people buying guns at gun shows to undergo the same Brady criminal background check as is required for sales that occur at federally-licensed gun stores. The law was enacted as a citizen ballot initiative in 2000 following the Columbine school massacre. Also see: Secondary Sales.

Return to the Menu

JUVENILE POSSESSION
Are minors restricted from possessing guns?  Partial

Colorado - State law restricts juveniles under 18 from possessing handguns without parental permission or authorized supervision. But there are no restrictions on juveniles possessing rifles or shotguns including semiautomatic assault weapons. Also see: Juvenile Sale.

Return to the Menu

JUVENILE SALE
Is it illegal to sell guns to kids?  Partial

Colorado - State law limits selling or giving handguns to juveniles under 18. But there are no state restrictions on transferring rifles, shotguns or even assault weapons to kids - without even their parent?s permission. Also see: Juvenile Possession.

Return to the Menu

LICENSE OR PERMIT TO PURCHASE
Is a license/permit required to buy handguns?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that handgun buyers obtain a handgun license or undergo any type of safety training prior to buying a handgun.

Return to the Menu

LOCAL GUN LAWS - PREEMPTION
May cities enact laws stronger than the state's?  No

Colorado - State law prohibits local governments from enacting sensible gun laws, even though the state's gun laws are weak and make it easy for criminals and children to get guns. In 2003, the state preempted local laws and overturned existing local laws in several cities, some of those cities are pursuing legal action to reinstate the local laws.

Return to the Menu

RECORD KEEPING
May police maintain gun sale records?  No

Colorado - State law forbids police from keeping any record of gun sales. Police are prohibited from maintaining gun sale records that could be used for gun tracing and criminal investigations. The state has no way of knowing whether people who bought guns in the past have become criminals and are no longer allowed to possess firearms. The lack of gun sale records also makes it very difficult to identify and prosecute gun traffickers or gang members that buy guns in bulk and resell them on the street. Also see: Registration.

Return to the Menu

REGISTRATION
Are all guns registered with law enforcement?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that gun owners register their firearms. Police do not know how many guns are in the state or where they are. The lack of registration data makes it more difficult for police to trace guns used in crime, identify illegal gun traffickers or hold gun owners accountable for their weapons. There is no state system to identify and disarm felons who bought guns legally in the past but later committed a crime or otherwise became ineligible to possess their firearms. Also see: Record Keeping.

Return to the Menu

SAFETY STANDARDS
Are there consumer safety standards on guns?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that handguns meet any basic safety standards. No requirement that guns be sold with a child-safety lock or a built-in ?personalized? lock to prevent unauthorized use. No requirement that handguns have loaded-chamber indicators or magazine safety disconnects that could prevent unintentional shootings. The state Attorney General is not allowed to independently establish handgun safety standards.

Return to the Menu

SAFETY TRAINING
Is safety training required for handgun buyers?  No

Colorado - No state requirement that handgun buyers receive any safety training at all. No requirement that handgun buyers demonstrate any familiarity with gun laws or knowledge about safe handling/safe storage of handguns.

Return to the Menu

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIALS
Are there limitations on 'junk' handguns?  No

Colorado - No state restriction on the sale of Saturday night specials or "junk" handguns. No requirement that handguns meet any safety tests such as a drop-safety test or a firing-performance test. No restriction on the sale of snub-nosed handguns that are very small and easy to conceal.

Return to the Menu

SCHOOL ZONES
Is it illegal for CCW permit holders to carry guns into schools?  Partial

Colorado - While it is generally illegal for CCW permit holders to carry guns around schools, they are allowed to carry loaded, hidden handguns onto school premises when they are picking up or dropping off students, as long as the firearm is not taken out of the car. Parents should know that loaded handguns may be legally brought onto school grounds by people with concealed carry permits.

Return to the Menu

SECONDARY SALES
Are background checks required on 'private' gun sales?  Partial

Colorado - No state requirement that criminal background checks be done on people buying firearms through newspaper, internet or other advertisements or "on the street." Criminal background checks are only required if the buyer goes to a federally-licensed gun store or purchases a firearm at a recognized gun show. Aside from gun shows, all "private" sales between individuals are not subject to the background check. Also see: Gun Shows.

Return to the Menu

WAITING PERIOD
Is there a waiting period on gun sales?  No

No state requirement that there be a waiting period for gun sales beyond the "instant check" in federal law. Police are not given any additional time to run a criminal background check to make sure the gun buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms. There is no "cooling off" period to help prevent crimes of passion.

Return to the Menu


The gun law summaries provided by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence should not be regarded as explanation of state law. While we try to keep this information accurate and updated, this material is provided for general discussion and reference purposes only.