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2024 Colorado Gun Registration: Not Required, But…

In Colorado, you are not required to register most firearms with state or local authorities. However, there are specific requirements and regulations for certain types of firearms and circumstances, which is why it’s important to understand and comply with these laws to ensure legal ownership and possession of firearms in the state.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Gun Registration in Colorado

According to the Giffords Law Center, in Colorado, there is no requirement to register firearms [1]. State law prohibits local governments, including law enforcement agencies, from maintaining lists, records, or databases of:

(a) Persons who purchase or exchange firearms or who leave firearms for repair or sale on consignment; (b) Persons who transfer firearms, unless the persons are federally licensed firearms dealers; (c) The descriptions, including serial numbers, of firearms purchased, transferred, exchanged, or left for repair or sale on consignment.

Colorado Firearms Laws Explained

These two statutes regarding firearms are enforceable by any certified peace officer in the state. It is important to note that even though the laws differ in their language, it is an individual’s responsibility to abide by all sections of each statute to be in compliance.

According to the State of Colorado Department of Public Safety, under Title 18 of Colorado law, individuals are permitted to carry a firearm in a vehicle if its use is for the lawful protection of themselves, another person, or property (C.R.S. 18-12-105(2)) [2].

Additionally, individuals are allowed to possess a handgun in a dwelling, place of business, or automobile. However, when carrying the weapon into a home, business, hotel room, etc., it must be in plain view.

Local jurisdictions may not enact laws that restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon. [C.R.S. 18-12-105.6] The Act permits the nationwide carrying of concealed handguns by qualified current and retired law enforcement officers and amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Pub. L. 90-618, 82 Stat. 1213) to exempt qualified current and retired law enforcement officers from state and local laws prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms – State of Colorado Department of Public Safety

Under Title 33, individuals may carry a weapon in their vehicle in accordance with Colorado wildlife laws, including C.R.S. 33-6-125. However, it is unlawful for any person, except a person authorized by law or by the division, to possess or have under their control any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of such firearm is unloaded.

A “muzzle-loader” is considered unloaded if it is not primed, and “primed” means having a percussion cap on the nipple or flint in the striker and powder in the flash pan.

Also Read: Open Carry in Las Vegas?

Open Carry in Colorado

According to SCLG, in Colorado, most adults can openly carry firearms without a permit, as the state is an open-carry state [3]. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Denver County typically prohibits the open carry of firearms. Additionally, certain classes of individuals, such as convicted felons, minors, and drug addicts, are prohibited from carrying guns anywhere.

While Colorado doesn’t have specific laws regarding the right to openly carry firearms, the right to possess a gun is generally protected under Article 2, Section 3 of the Colorado constitution:

All persons have certain natural, essential, and inalienable rights[.] [A]mong which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties[.] [O]f acquiring, possessing and protecting property[.] [A]nd of and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness

Firearm Homicide Statistics

  • Gramlich (2021) reports that 80% of all homicides in the U.S. involve a firearm, with handguns being the most common type.
  • According to the CDC (2021), over 20,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to firearm homicides.
  • EFSGV (2021) notes that Black men and women face the highest risk of dying from firearm homicides.
  • From 2019 to 2022, there was an increase in firearm homicides among certain racial or ethnic groups: the rate per 100,000 increased from 19 to 27 for Black/African Americans, 6 to 8 for American Indian/Alaska Natives, and 4 to 5 for Hispanics (CDC, 2022).
  • In Colorado, homicides make up 19% of all firearm deaths. From 2010 to 2019, the homicide firearm death rate increased by 53%. In 2022, approximately 73% of all homicides in Colorado were committed with firearms, and 76% of firearm deaths were males aged 15-24 (CDPHE, 2022).
  • Denver, El Paso, Arapahoe, Adams, and Jefferson Counties have the highest numbers of firearm homicides, while Park, Huerfano, and Las Animas Counties have the highest firearm homicide death rates per 100,000 people.

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