I can only begin to tell you how much I think this law is full of problems. It causes more than it cures. Prohibited Use of Weapons, C.R.S. 18-12-106, prohibits several different acts involving a firearm. Ninety percent of the time, however, we see the subsection involving possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol charged in Adams, Broomfield and Douglas County. The problems which result concern whether a person loses important Colorado constitutional and statutory rights just because they have a drink. There was even a situation where a Colorado State Trooper was charged. See Fox News.
Guns and Alcohol Don’t have to Be Dangerous
There are many circumstances where a person can drink, possess a gun, and not be a danger to anyone. Not every person who drinks gets so drunk that they lose all sense of right from wrong. Does a sip of wine qualify for “under the influence”? How about two beers? Only when a person loses the ability to safely possess, handle and fire a firearm should this law apply.
Do You Need to Take Guns Out of Your House to Drink?
Should a person in Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe County remove their guns from the house in order to lawfully drink? Rifles, shotguns and pistols are openly displayed or kept in homes where they are a thing of beauty or useful for self defense. You can’t protect yourself if you have to lock up your guns and give the key to another, just to drink. Yet, this law is written so that most cops are free to charge a man or woman who has been drinking and has a gun nearby.
Like Many Laws, Prohibited Use of Weapons is Written too Broad
This law is written so broad that anyone drinking is susceptible to being charged with Prohibited Use of Weapons. Also, important constitutional and statutory laws regarding self defense and defense of property in places like Gunnison and Chaffee County are rendered meaningless. There are no exceptions for possession of a deadly weapon when drinking, if that possession is essential to protect person or property. Many District Attorneys view this law as a requirement that citizens who have been drinking lay down and become victims of robbery and assault. We don’t agree.
There are many other complications related to Prohibited Use of Weapons, C.R.S. 18-12-106. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can give you a defense against those problems. Put our 20+ years of experience to work for you by calling 303-731-0719. As always, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and give us a call. Together, we can protect your future.