Colorado Weapons Crimes Defense Lawyer Challenges Prosecutors
Firm in Grand Junction and Durango advocates for clients accused of firearms offenses
Despite the constitutional right to bear arms and your self-defense laws within Colorado, there are numerous ways in which someone can be convicted of a weapons-related charge. Even an inadvertent violation might result in a severe penalty. That’s why you need determined advocacy if you’re facing a gun charge. At Robert S. McCormick, Attorney at Law in Grand Junction and Durango, I draw on decades of criminal defense experience to advocate for my clients’ rights and to fight for fair resolutions that minimize negative legal consequences.
Colorado laws relating to gun possession
In Colorado, anyone over the age of 18 can own a firearm, as long as no state or federal prohibition applies to that person. Reasons why someone might be barred from owning a gun include:
- Felony conviction
- Juvenile delinquency adjudication on a charge that would constitute a felony for an adult
- Adjudication of a mental health problem
- Addiction to illegal drugs
- Status as a fugitive from justice or a person not lawfully in the United States
- Domestic violence conviction or restraining order
- Dishonorable discharge from military service
- Renunciation of U.S. citizenship
You do not need a permit to purchase a handgun or a long gun, nor are you required to register your weapon. Other key elements of Colorado firearms law address:
- Private firearms transfers — A gun sale between two private parties requires a background check. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, necessitating a two-year suspension of the right to possess a firearm.
- Concealed carry permits — Colorado is a “shall issue” state. Anyone 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from owning a firearm and who completes necessary training can apply and receive a concealed carry permit.
- Concealed carry reciprocity — Colorado honors concealed carry permits other states issue to their residents, but not non-resident permits. The state must have a reciprocal agreement with Colorado. The permit holder must be 21 years of age or older and free from any firearm prohibitions.
- Open carry law — A person may carry a lawful firearm in a vehicle. However, only pistols and revolvers can be loaded. Persons may possess a handgun in a dwelling, place of business or automobile. When carrying the weapon from one lawful place to another, the weapon must be in plain view.
Anyone who owns a weapon should take the time to familiarize themselves with the law. Taking weapons rights for granted can lead to serious consequences.
Common concealed weapon violations in Colorado
In general, Colorado law makes it illegal for an unlicensed individual to carry a weapon hidden on your person or within easy proximity, such as tucked beside the seat of a car. Weapons include:
- All firearms, even when not operable
- Knives with blades longer than 3.5 inches
- Any implement Colorado law classifies as a dangerous or illegal weapon
- Any explosive, incendiary, or other dangerous device
Penalties for a concealed carry violation include:
- First offense — This Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by three to 12 months in jail, and/or a fine of $250-$1,000.
- Second or subsequent offense within five years — This Class 5 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison (with two years mandatory parole), and/or a fine of at least $1,000.
You also lose your right to own or possess a firearm if you are found guilty. Given the consequences of a conviction for any weapons offense, it’s important to immediately call a criminal defense attorney who is determined to protect your rights.
Contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney for a free weapons offense consultation
Robert S. McCormick, Attorney at Law represents Coloradans accused of weapons offenses. Call today at 833-880-7192 or contact me online to set up a free initial consultation. My offices are in Grand Junction and Durango.