Possession of firearms

Federal and state laws prohibit some Coloradans from legally possessing firearms.

Federal law prohibits the sale to or possession of a firearm by a person who is:

  • Convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor or are subject to certain domestic violence restraining orders. 
  • Under indictment for a felony.
  • Has been previously determined mentally incapacitated or if that person was involuntarily committed to a mental health treatment facility. 
  • Dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
  • A person who has renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Unlawfully in the United States or admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa.
  • An unlawful user or addicted to marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic, or other controlled substance. 
  • A fugitive.

Colorado also prohibits possession to those with an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO laws are commonly referred to as “red flag laws”). An ERPO is a civil order granted by a judge to prohibit an individual from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are at imminent risk of hurting themselves or others. 

Applicable State Laws

Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) are posted on the Colorado Legal Resources Public Access Website.


Extreme Risk Protection Order Petitions: C.R.S. §13.14.5-103

Effective Date: May 17, 2023.

  • SB 23–170 expands the eligibility first created in HB19-1177 concerning who can petition for an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) to include licensed mental healthcare providers, licensed educators, and district attorneys.

Extreme Risk Protection Order: C.R.S. §13-14.5-101

  • HB 19-1177 allows a family or household member or a law enforcement officer to petition the court for a temporary ERPO. 
  • The petitioner must establish with evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm. This also temporarily removes concealed carry permits.

Preventing Persons who have Committed Domestic Violence from Possessing Firearms: C.R.S. §13-14-105.5

  • When a court subjects a person to a protection order to prevent domestic violence or a protection order that prohibits the person from possessing or controlling firearms or other weapons, or the court convicts a person of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense, the court shall require the person to relinquish any firearm or ammunition in the person's immediate possession or control or subject to the person's immediate possession or control.