Colorado Firearms Law, US Federal Firearms Law and Gun Rights
Firearm rights or gun rights are among those most cherished by United States and Colorado citizens. "Once the government takes away our right to possess firearms, they can do whatever else they want." "Armed people" are called citizens; "unarmed people" are called subjects.
While the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution seems to broadly permit firearm or gun possession rights in Colorado and other states, the federal government has severely restricted a citizen's gun rights and firearm rights through legislative acts. This national legislative body is overall anti-gun and wants to take away your Colorado gun rights.
The Colorado Constitution, Article 2 (Article II), Section 13, appears to offer the same broad permissions to possess a firearm as the federal constitution. However, federal legislative law preempts Colorado law and operates to restrain Colorado citizens, in Colorado, from possessing a firearm.
Colorado is not the source of most laws restricting a citizen's Colorado gun rights. Federal government legislation is anti-gun in many instances. Most notable is 18 U.S.C., Section 922(g), which is anti-gun rights. Under this law, you are prohibited from possessing a firearm if you:
- have been convicted* of a crime punishable by imprisonment greater than one year (Note that this includes felonies and some misdemeanors in Colorado)
- have been convicted* of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (not every crime Colorado calls "domestic violence" qualifies to exclude your firearm possession under federal law)
- are a fugitive from justice
- are an addict or unlawful user of controlled substances
- were adjudicated as a mental defective or have been committed to a mental institution
- are here as an alien illegally or as a nonimmigrant visa
- have been dishonorably discharged from the military
- have renounced your citizenship
- are the subject of a court protection order
- other miscellaneous provisions
Colorado law prohibits firearm possession (gun rights) if you:
- have previously been convicted* of a felony
- have previously been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would have been a felony if committed by an adult
- are on probation or are subject to a specific court order restricting possession
- other miscellaneous provisions
There is a substantial body of law governing when a person violates federal or Colorado law by possessing a firearm, and minute intricacies make it complicated to determine whether you are eligible to exercise your gun rights in Colorado. Therefore, be sure and have a Colorado criminal attorney examine the peculiarities of your case before taking the risk of possessing a firearm if you believe you may be ineligible. Do not rely on general information such as that contained on this website. Many factors that you might consider unimportant can be the difference between a serious felony conviction under Colorado law or federal law, and you need a trained Colorado lawyer to advise you on your gun rights or firearm rights. Also, Colorado has laws governing the use of firearms. See our Prohibited Use of Weapons page for an important example.
Contact the O'Malley Law Office today at 303-731-0719 and have one of our full-time criminal defense lawyers protect your valuable gun rights in Colorado. We value your gun rights as an American and as a Coloradoan. We support the National Rifle Association's (NRA) efforts to protect your gun rights. Don't let the government hinder your right to protect your family and country.
*There are many interpretations of the term "conviction," and your specific situation deserves an in-depth study, which may impact whether you are prohibited from possessing a firearm in Colorado. For example, a deferred judgment and sentence may be viewed by some Colorado or federal jurisdictions as a conviction, and in others, not a conviction. Know and protect your Colorado gun rights by contacting us today.