State Law Background
In 2012, Colorado experienced the horrific mass shooting in a movie theater in the City of Aurora. In 2013, Colorado significantly upgraded its gun laws. Now Colorado:
- Requires a background check processed by a licensed firearms dealer before most firearm transfers, including most unlicensed transfers;
- Has established a procedure for the surrender of firearms by convicted domestic abusers and abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders; and
- Prohibits the sale, transfer and possession of certain large-capacity ammunition magazines.
Colorado still does not, however:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons or 50 caliber rifles;
- Require firearm dealers to obtain a state license;
- Require firearm owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Require handguns to meet design safety standards;
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales; or
- Provide law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
Local governments in Colorado, with the exception of Denver, generally lack authority to regulate firearms or ammunition.
In 2014, Colorado ranked 21st in the number of gun deaths per capita among the states. 658 people died from firearms injuries in Colorado in that year. Colorado has also been a crime gun exporter. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, Colorado exported crime guns at almost twice the rate at which it imported them – in other words, guns that had been originally purchased in Colorado were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at twice the rate at which crime guns originally purchased outside Colorado were then recovered inside Colorado. Colorado ranked 19th in the number of crime guns exported.
Colorado Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Colorado, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.