Legal Information: Colorado

State Gun Laws

May 3, 2023

I have a protection order against the abuser. Can the abuser have a gun?

Under Colorado law, the judge can include gun prohibitions in a temporary or final domestic violence protection order. If the judge reviews the protection order petition and decides that the protection order includes an act of domestic violence involving physical force or the threat or attempt to use physical force, the judge must then order the abuser to:

  • not have or buy any firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect; and
  • give up (relinquish) any firearms or ammunition that s/he currently has in his/her possession or control to a licensed firearms dealer, private party, or law enforcement.1

The judge can also order the abuser to give up any firearms or ammunition in his/her immediate possession or control as a condition for the abuser to be released from jail on bond.2

Once the abuser is served with the protection order, s/he has to follow what the order says and give up any guns or ammunition s/he has. After this, if the abuser keeps or tries to get a gun or ammunition while the order is in effect, s/he would be committing the crime of violation of a protection order.3  

For information about how the abuser must give up his/her guns and how the judge makes sure s/he has done so, see How does an abuser give up his/her guns and ammunition? What happens next?

Additionally, an abuser who has an active protection order against him/her for any reason cannot get a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

According to Colorado state law, a person can only get a get a concealed carry permit if all of the following conditions are met. The applicant:

Note: Even if the applicant meets all of the requirements above, the sheriff can still deny the permit if, based on the applicant’s previous behavior, the sheriff has a reasonable belief that s/he would likely be a danger to himself/herself or others if the permit were granted.5

In addition, it is illegal for anyone to possess a firearm if s/he is on probation after being convicted of a crime that involved domestic violence. An exception can be made, however, for a defendant whose job requires the use of a firearm if the judge believes that the victim and his/her child would not be endangered and the gun is not stored in the defendant’s home.6

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if s/he was convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor or if you have a final protection order against him/her that meets certain requirements. Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.

For additional information on gun laws in Colorado, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.

1 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5(1)(a)
2 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-105.5(1)(b)
3 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-6-803.5
4 Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-12-203(1); 18-12-108
5 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-203(2)
6 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-204(2)(b)(IV)

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