Carrying a firearm knowingly or unlawfully is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado.[i] However, the person carrying a firearm will not be liable if the person is in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on property owned or under his/her control at the time of the act of carrying; or the person is in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance and carries a weapon for lawful protection of such person’s or another’s person or property while traveling. Carrying firearms is not an offence if the person who, at the time of carrying a concealed weapon, held a valid written permit to carry a concealed weapon issued pursuant to C.R.S. 18-12-105.1, or if the carrying person is a peace officer, as described in C.R.S. 16-2.5-101, or if the person is a United States probation officer or a United States pretrial services officer while on duty and serving in the state of Colorado.
The issuing authority is the sheriff of the applicant’s home county. Permit is issued after complete background check, including fingerprint verification by FBI/CBI. Colorado statutes stipulate that the applicant must be a Colorado resident above 21 years of age. The person should not be a convicted felon or a mentally incompetent person or a drug or alcohol abuser. The applicant should not be the subject of a civil or criminal restraining order. The applicant must demonstrate competence with a handgun by one of the following means:
1. evidence of experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service;
2. certified firearms instructor
3. Honorable discharge from the Armed Forces within past three years.
4. If the applicant is discharged from Armed Forces, proof of pistol qualification in Armed Forces within past ten years.
5. if the applicant is a retired law enforcement officer, proof of pistol qualification within past ten years.
6. Proof of completion of a handgun training class within the past ten years. [ii]
The applicant must submit the completed application along with copies of training certificate, driver’s license, State ID Card or Passport photo. The permit is valid for five years. The cost of permit amounts to $52.50. Permit may be renewed as early as 120 days before expiration or as late as six months after expiration. Renewal fee is $25; an additional late fee of $15 must be paid if the permit has expired.
Colorado law permits people to carry concealed firearms in an automobile for protection while traveling or for any other lawful purpose while lawfully engaged in hunting. However, carrying of firearms is prohibited in places prohibited by federal law, including federal offices or courthouse, any property of public school grades unless the firearm remains inside a container in a locked vehicle and in any public building that prohibits all weapons which posts guards and permanent metal detectors at all entrances and requires all entrants to surrender handguns to security personnel before entry. The State of Colorado will recognize a valid permit issued in another state to a resident of the state issuing the permit, if the permit holder is above 21 years of age. In addition, the other state should recognize Colorado permits as valid in their state and permit holder should possess a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the same state.
The state of Colorado no longer recognizes the validity of any permit issued by any state to a nonresident of that state[iii]. Colorado has reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.
[i] C.R.S. 18-12-105.
[iii] C.R.S 18-12-213 as amended in 2007.