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Concealed carry legal resources & information

Legal Resources*

Here you will find information on:

Click the link of interest above, or scroll down to read it all.

Colorado Concealed Handgun Permit Information

  • Colorado is a "Shall Issue" state. That means, in simplified terms, that unless there is a reason not to issue a permit, the local sheriff 'shall issue' a permit.
  • Permits are administered by the county sheriff's office. A listing of Colorado Sheriff's offices can be found here. If you live in Summit County Colorado, you can visit the Summit County Sheriff's site for concealed handgun permits.
  • If you do not live in Summit County, please see the County Sheriffs of Colorado website for more information on obtaining your Colorado Concealed Handgun Permit, or visit the sheriff's website for the county in which you reside.
  • In Colorado, you are not required to inform an officer that you are carrying during a traffic stop - but it may be advisable to do so anyway (law enforcement officers are not big on surprises).
  • Laws relating specifically to concealed carry in Colorado can be found at C.R.S. 18-12-201 (click on each individual section title to view).

Click for an Adobe PDF on Colorado reciprocity informationHandgunLaw.us provides a well organized, map-based guide to the reciprocity and handgun laws around the United States - including Colorado-specific information.

This site is for reference only and you are responsible for staying notified of any late-breaking changes to firearms laws.

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Other Firearms Law Resources

Federal Law Information

  • Interstate Transportation of Firearms: This is a link to the Cornell University Law School citation of U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44, § 926A regarding transporting a firearm in states where you do not have a concealed handgun permit. A complete listing of Federal Firearms Laws can be found at the NRA-ILA.

    The Bottom Line: If you are transporting a handgun through a state in which you do not have a recognized concealed handgun permit, keep the unloaded handgun locked in a box locked in the trunk, and then keep the ammunition locked separately in the trunk...and that may still not be sufficient to comply with all state and local laws! Read up and know the laws where you are traveling.
  • NRA-ILA Gun Law Summary (1.6 MB PDF): Comprehensive listing of gun laws by state. Note: This document may not be current with recently passed legislation.
  • 2008 Heller Opinion (SCOTUS): The 2nd Amendment applies to Washington DC residents.
  • 2010 McDonald Opinion (SCOTUS): The 2nd Amendment applies to the states.

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Colorado-Specific Information

These documents and links provide the key information regarding Colorado's current concealed carry and firearms laws.

  • Colorado Firearm Law Summary: From the NRA-ILA. Very informative. This page is not always up to date, so please double-check other resources.
  • Colorado's Firearms Laws: C.R.S. Title 18; Article 12 (Part 2 relates to concealed carry). Use the table of contents link at the top of the opened page. Please be aware that this linked site can be very, very slow and unresponsive. Patience is required!
  • Colorado State Patrol: Summary information on Colorado gun laws, firearms in vehicles, and traveling through Colorado's National Forests and National Parks.
  • 2003 Salazar Opinion: The University of Colorado (CU) has a right to make its own concealed carry policies despite Colorado Law. Mr. Salazar's opinion was later determined to be wrong by the Colorado Supreme Court. Please see below.
  • 2012 Colorado Supreme Court Ruling: In a unanimous decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has held lower court rulings to be accurate: The University of Colorado does not have the unilateral authority to make their own laws with regards to concealed carry in Colorado. Lawful concealed carry on Colorado campuses accepting public funding is now clearly legal. Please remember, with every right comes a responsibility. Please obtain the proper training to go with your Colorado permit!
  • 2013 CO Law Changes: Here is an NRA-ILA summary of the new gun laws passed in Colorado to date. This document provides a lay person's summary of the changes and how they might affect your everyday life. Please return to this page frequently as more changes may be coming.
  • "Stand Your Ground" and "Duty to Retreat" in Colorado: You may have heard these terms on the news. What do these terms mean in Colorado? Please see the annotations at the bottom of this statute's listing (click the table of contents link) for a detailed analysis and how the physical force in defense of a person laws are actually written. Selected annotations from C.R.S. §18-1-704 are provided below:

Doctrine of retreat is from common law. There is no statutory provision regarding the duty of a person to retreat before countering the use of force with force. The doctrine derives from the common law. People v. Watson, 671 P.2d 973 (Colo. App. 1983).

The defendant, if he did not provoke the assault, is not obliged to retreat or flee to save his life, but may stand his ground, and even, in some circumstances, pursue his assailant until the latter has been disarmed or disabled from carrying into effect his unlawful purpose, and this right of the defendant goes even to the extent, if necessary, of taking human life. Boykin v. People, 22 Colo. 496, 45 P. 419 (1896); Enyart v. People, 67 Colo. 434, 180 P. 722 (1919).

The right of self-defense is a natural right and is based on the natural law of self-preservation. Vigil v. People, 143 Colo. 328, 353 P.2d 82 (1960).

*Obligatory Disclaimer

Please consult with your attorney with any specific questions on laws applying to concealed carry, personal defense, and firearms. It is your responsibility to know and understand the laws that apply to you when you are carrying a concealed handgun. Nothing on this page shall be construed as legal advice and is provided without any statement of accuracy or reliability. Please see this site's Terms of Use for more information.

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