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Concealed Carry Permits Frequently Asked Questions

Question or Topic Answer
Where can I apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-12-205) states that you can apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun at the sheriff’s office of the county or city and county of where you reside, where you maintain a secondary residence or where you own or lease real property used by you in a business. 

 

 

Where can I find information on reciprocity agreements between Colorado other states regarding concealed carry permits?

The State of Colorado no longer recognizes the validity of any permit issued by any state to a nonresident. (See CRS 18-12-213 amended 2007).

Here you can find a current listing of states that recognize Colorado permits. More information on concealed carry handgun permits can be found here.

Where can I apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-12-205) states that you can apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun at the sheriff’s office of the county or city and county of where you reside, where you maintain a secondary residence or where you own or lease real property used by you in a business.

How long is my permit to carry a concealed handgun valid for?

A permit to carry a concealed handgun is valid for 5 years.  (C.R.S. 18-12-104)  Within 120 days prior to the expiration of your permit, you may obtain a renewal form to renew your permit from the sheriff’s office of the county or city and county of where you reside, where you maintain a secondary residence or where you own or lease real property used by you in a business. (C.R.S. 18-12-211)

What if the sheriff denies my application to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

Under Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-12-207) you may seek judicial review of a sheriff’s decision to deny you a permit to carry a concealed handgun.  At a judicial hearing the sheriff who denied your application has the burden of proof to show why your application was denied.

Must I carry my permit to carry a concealed handgun on me at all times?

You must carry both your permit to carry a concealed handgun and valid photo identification with you at all times you are in possession of a concealed handgun.  (C.R.S. 18-12-204)  You may be charged with a Class 1 petty offense if you fail to produce these two documents upon demand by a law enforcement officer.

May I carry a concealed handgun without first obtaining a permit to do so?

Colorado law states that you must have a permit to carry a concealed handgun unless you are in a private automobile and you are carrying the handgun for legal use (including self-defense) or you are legally engaged in hunting activities in Colorado. (C.R.S. 18-12-204)  You also do not need a permit to carry a concealed handgun while in your own dwelling, your place of business or on property you own or which is under your control.  (C.R.S. 18-12-105)

What documentation do I need in order to apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

You need the following documentation to apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm:  1) a completed permit application form (available at the sheriff’s office to which you are applying); 2) documentary evidence showing competence with a hand gun (such as a training certificate from a handgun training class obtained within 10 years of your application, evidence of experience through participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service, proof of honorable discharge from a branch of the United States armed forces within 3 years of your application); 3)  a full frontal photograph of your head (not necessary if the sheriff’s office at which you are applying takes the photograph as part of the application process) and 4) a valid Colorado driver’s license or a valid Colorado or military identification card.  Please note that the permit application form must be signed in person when you submit the application to the sheriff’s office and you will be asked to swear that the information in the permit application is true and correct.  If you make a false or misleading statement on your permit application or you deliberately omit material information, you could be subject to perjury charges and your ability to receive or maintain your permit will be in jeopardy.  (C.R.S. 18-12-206)

What are the requirements to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-12-203) requires that the following criteria be met in order for you to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun:  1) you are a Colorado resident or be a member of the armed forces stationed in Colorado who has an immediate family member living in Colorado; 2) you are 21 years old or older; 3) you are not be ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to state or federal law; 4) you have not been convicted of perjury related to information provided in an application for a permit to carry a concealed handgun; 5) you do not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the point your faculties are impaired; 6) you are not an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance; 7) you are not subject to a criminal or civil restraining order; and 8) you demonstrate competence with a handgun.  The sheriff to which you are applying must verify that you meet these criteria, including taking your fingerprints and conducting a background check.  

What if I feel that I am in immediate danger and need to carry a concealed handgun?

Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-12-209) allows a sheriff to issue a temporary emergency permit to carry a concealed handgun to a person that the sheriff believes may be in immediate danger.  The application process and requirements are similar to those for obtaining a regular permit but the applicant does not have to demonstrate competence with a handgun must be 18 years of age or older.  A temporary emergency permit is valid for 90 days and may be renewed.  

What happens if I move or I lose my permit to carry a concealed handgun?

You must notify the sheriff who issued your permit within 30 days of when you change your address or within 3 business days of when your permit is lost, stolen or destroyed.  Failure to comply with these requirements could result in your being charged with a Class 1 petty offense.  Please not that your permit is automatically invalid if it is lost, stolen or destroyed.  (C.R.S. 18-12-210)

Are there limitations to where I can lawfully carry a concealed handgun?

If you have a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun, you may carry it in all areas of the state except:  1) any place where prohibited by federal law; 2) a public elementary, middle, junior or high school (unless in the compartment of your locked vehicle); 3) any public building which has security personnel and weapons screening devices permanently in place at each entrance, each person entering such building is screened and each person who is carrying a weapon must leave the weapon with the security personnel; and 5) where a private property owner, private tenant, private employer or private business owner prohibits it.  (C.R.S. 18-12-215)  

Can I obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun if I have a medical marijuana license?

No.  Under Colorado law, a permit to carry a concealed handgun can only be issued to a person who is eligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal law.  (C.R.S. 18-12-203)  Under federal law (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3)) it is against the law for any person who is “an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance” to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition.  While you may legally possess marijuana in Colorado pursuant to your medical marijuana card, marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law and your use of it is still ‘unlawful’ in that regard.

Can I open carry a handgun in Colorado?

There is no state law which prohibits you from open carrying a handgun in a non-threatening manner however local governments may prohibit such conduct in a building or specific area under their jurisdiction, such as a municipal building or city park.  Such restrictions must be posted at the public entrances of those buildings or areas.  (C.R.S. 29-11.7-104)  Additionally, the City and County of Denver prohibit the open display of a handgun anywhere within its jurisdictional limits.  You should check with your local government to verify whether any restrictions apply.