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Concealed Carry Rights Lost with DUI or DWAI?

Concealed Carry Permits in Colorado

Colorado has a generous Concealed Carry Permit law which enables citizens to possess a firearm in a concealed manner. Yet, the law's authors insist that people with chronic mental health or substance abuse issues, like alcohol or drugs, not obtain a permit.

The Sheriff in Colorado counties like Arapahoe, Adams and Jefferson County, is responsible for screening applicants for concealed weapon permits. One clear cut factor prohibiting a person from getting a concealed carry permit is if that person chronically and habitually uses alcohol to the extent the person's normal faculties are impaired. If you have had problems with alcohol in the past, at what point are you prohibited? A quick review of Colorado's law on concealed carry should help answer that question.

Under C.R.S. 18-12-203, one of the questions for the Sheriff to answer is: Does the applicant "chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that the applicant's normal faculties are impaired. The prohibition specified in this paragraph (e) shall not apply to an applicant who provides an affidavit, signed by a professional counselor or addiction counselor who is licensed pursuant to article 43 of title 12, C.R.S., and specializes in alcohol addiction, stating that the applicant has been evaluated by the counselor and has been determined to be a recovering alcoholic who has refrained from using alcohol for at least three years."

What is Chronic or Habitual Alcohol Use?

As it applies to alcohol use, there is an important definition at C.R.S. 18-12-202: "Chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages to the extent that the applicant's normal faculties are impaired" means: (a) The applicant has at any time been committed as an alcoholic . . . or (b) Within ten-years . . . the applicant . . . (II) Has had two or more alcohol-related convictions under section 42-4-1301(1) or (2) [DUI or DWAI], or . . . revocations related to misdemeanor, alcohol-related convictions under section 42-2-126, C.R.S."

As a result, it is clear that if a person has had two DUI's in Denver, Douglas or Weld County within ten years of the concealed firearm permit application, that person will be viewed as a chronic and habitual user of alcohol, and denied a permit. It is possible that a three year abstention from alcohol with a letter from a therapist, may get a person past this prohibition. Realize that this is a close question and most Sheriffs will look at other factors to determine whether someone with two DUI's, or other statutory disqualifiers, presents a threat of safety due to alcohol use.

If you have been denied a concealed carry permit, before you sign up for a rehearing with the Sheriff, or appealed to a court, contact our experienced concealed carry attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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