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When Is Possession of a Firearm Illegal in Colorado?


Owning a gun is an important right that’s reflected in both the national and Colorado constitutions. However, there are certain circumstances in which owning a gun may be illegal and result in criminal charges. It’s important to understand what these circumstances are so that you can protect yourself from potential penalties.

You Were Convicted of a Serious Crime

Under federal law, it’s illegal for anyone convicted of a felony in either the state or federal government’s jurisdiction to own a firearm.

The same is mostly true in Colorado itself, but new legislation makes it possible for certain felons who plead guilty to certain non-violent crimes to regain their right to own a firearm. Unlike federal law, however, convictions for certain violent misdemeanors – especially domestic violence – can bar someone from purchasing a gun in Colorado for five years.

You Aren’t Old Enough to Own a Firearm

One of the most basic requirements for owning a gun in Colorado is age. You can’t legally purchase, own, or otherwise possess a gun before reaching 18 years of age.

The Firearm You Own Is Illegal in Colorado

As every gun owner knows, not every gun is the same. There are also various devices and modifications that would make an otherwise legal firearm illegal to own.

For example, it’s illegal to own any firearm silencer or another device that softens or dampens the sound of a gun’s discharge. It’s also illegal to own a machine gun unless it’s classified as a curio or relic. Additionally, short-barrel rifles (fewer than 16 inches long) are illegal, as are any guns where the serial numbers are unreadable.

You Were Recently Admitted to a Mental Health Facility

Federal law also bars gun ownership for those who were involuntarily hospitalized or committed to a mental health facility. If not more than five years have passed since you were lawfully ordered to treatment by a lawful authority, you may not legally possess a gun in Colorado.

You Are in a Gun-Free Location

There are certain places in which it’s illegal to possess a gun under any circumstances. Some of these locations include airports, state and local government facilities, public schools, federal government property, and private businesses and residences whose owners don’t allow firearms within.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

It’s important to remain aware of Colorado's gun laws in order to avoid any legal trouble. Always consult with an attorney if you have questions about the legality of owning a firearm in Colorado or are charged with a crime related to the unlawful possession of a firearm.

To seek legal assistance and support from Orr Law Firm, contact us today!