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Colorado Gun Storage Laws: Secure Your Firearms (2024 Guide)

Colorado does not have specific state laws mandating how firearms must be stored within private homes. However, the state does have laws aimed at preventing unauthorized access to firearms, particularly by minors.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Colorado Gun Laws

  • Under Title 18 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, individuals are permitted to carry firearms within their vehicles for lawful protection of themselves or others’ person or property as specified in C.R.S. 18-12-105(2).
  • Colorado law allows individuals to possess handguns in their dwellings, places of business, or automobiles. However, it is required that when transporting the weapon into a residence, business, or similar location such as a hotel room, the firearm must be visibly displayed.
  • Local jurisdictions are prohibited from enacting regulations that interfere with the ability to transport weapons under these circumstances, as outlined in C.R.S. 18-12-105.6.
  • The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) allows qualified current and retired law enforcement officers nationwide to carry concealed handguns, overriding state and local laws that prohibit concealed carrying of firearms.
  • Under Title 33, it is lawful to carry a weapon in your vehicle. However, it is illegal to have any firearm other than a pistol or revolver within or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber is unloaded. This legislation aims to enhance safety by preventing the discharge of firearms accidentally or inappropriately while in transit.

Source: Colorado Department of Public Safety [1].

What is Colorado’s Safe Storage Law?

Colorado has a safe storage law. State law requires firearms to be safely stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised juveniles and other unauthorized users. ((Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-114(1).

A gun is safely stored when:

(a) The firearm is either carried by the person or kept within such close proximity that it can be retrieved as quickly as if it were being carried.

(b) The firearm is secured in a locked gun safe or similar secure container or is stored in a manner that a reasonable person would consider secure. Additionally, any juvenile or resident of the premises who is prohibited from possessing a firearm does not have access to the key, combination, or other means required to unlock the safe or container.

(c) A locking device is properly installed on the firearm, ensuring that any juvenile or resident of the premises who is not permitted to possess a firearm cannot access the key, combination, or other device necessary to remove the locking mechanism.

(d) The firearm is a personalized firearm and is secured with its safety features activated.

This law aims to reduce accidental discharges and unauthorized use of firearms by ensuring they are stored safely and responsibly when not in direct use.

Colorado Governor Signs Safe Gun Storage, Reporting Requirement Bills

According to ABC Denver 7, in April 2021, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed 2 bills into law aiming to bolster gun security in the state, with the hopes the legislation will cut down on both accidental and purposeful shootings [2]. The 2 bills, SB21-078 and HB21-1106, are the first major firearms “common sense” laws passed since Polis signed Colorado’s extreme risk protection order measure (“red flag law”) into law.

Polis signed SB21-078, which was renamed the Isabella Joy Thallas Act in honor of a young woman shot and killed in Denver last year – allegedly by a man who took a firearm from a Denver police officer he knew – ABC Denver 7

The act requires people who lose or have a firearm stolen to report their weapon is missing to law enforcement agencies within 5 days of noticing the gun is gone. Failure to do so will lead to a penalty of $25 for a civil infraction, while subsequent violations will be considered a misdemeanor punishable with fines in excess of $500.

Also Read: Colorado Gun Registration

Child Firearm Statistics

  • As of the end of November 2023, Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws have been enacted in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Colorado introduced its ERPO legislation with HB19-1177 in 2019 and made significant updates to it in 2023 through SB23-170.
  • Statistics show that nearly 30 million children in the United States reside in homes with firearms. Of these, approximately 4.6 million children live in environments where at least one firearm is stored in a manner that is both loaded and unlocked.
  • Firearms are the most common cause of death among children.
  • 43% of children who commit suicide use a firearm to do so.
  • The majority of firearms used by children in accidental shootings, suicides, and school shootings are often accessed within their own homes, or from the homes of friends or relatives.

Source: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment [3].

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References:

1. https://www.denver7.com/news/politics/colorado-governor-signs-safe-storage-reporting-requirements
2. https://cdphe.colorado.gov/colorado-gun-violence-prevention-resource-bank/prevention-approaches
3. https://publicsafety.colorado.gov/colorado-gun-laws

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