Firearms FAQs


General Firearms FAQs

Can I sell my firearm to another person in Colorado without a background check if I am not a gun dealer?

If you are selling to a non-immediate family member, a background check must be done by an FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee).  However, immediate family members do not need background checks done to transfer firearms between one another.  The firearm should not be transferred to any family member who is prohibited from purchasing and/or possessing firearm.  Immediate family is defined as spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles (in-laws do not apply).  (CRS 18-12-112)

If I have a Concealed Handgun Permit. Do I still have to get a background check to buy a firearm?

Yes. At this time, Colorado Concealed Handgun permits do not meet all the criteria to qualify for an exemption to the background check. That means even if you have a Colorado Concealed Handgun permit, you must have a new background check every time you purchase a firearm.  Out of state Concealed Handgun permit holders also need a background check to purchase a firearm in Colorado.

I want to know if a charge I had is dismissed so I can purchase a firearm.  How can I tell what happened to my court case?

Please contact the court where the case occurred.

I have a felony charge in Colorado from when I was a juvenile.  Can I purchase firearms?

If you were adjudicated for a qualifying charge within the last 10 years, which if committed as an adult, would be a felony, you are prohibited from firearm possession (refer to CRS 18-12-108).  However, you can request that the case be expunged.  This is done through the original court where the case occurred.  Once expunged, this can be used to overcome this state prohibition. (CRS 18-12-108, 19-1-306)

Can I open carry in Colorado?

The actual open carrying of firearms is regulated by local county and municipal authorities. Confirmation of open carry municipal code restrictions would have to be done with those local authorities. Generally, most city municipal codes are posted on-line for review by the public.

Can I have a firearm in my vehicle in Colorado without a Concealed Handgun Permit?

Yes.  However, “it is unlawful to possess any firearm, other than a pistol or revolver, in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber of such firearm is unloaded.” (CRS 33-6-125)

I bought my firearm. Where can I register it?

There is no registry in Colorado, you do not have to register your firearm. (CRS 29-11.7-102)

I was denied the purchase of a firearm.  What do I do now?

The gun dealer needs to give you an appeal form.  Make sure the mandatory fields are filled out and follow the instructions to appeal your denial.  CBI cannot provide any information regarding your denial over the phone.

I am 18 years old.  Can I possess handguns?

A person between the age of 18-20 may legally possess a handgun and one could be transferred to them as a bona fide gift from an immediate family member. (CRS 18-12-108.5)

Can I purchase a firearm for someone that was denied their firearm purchase?

No.  This is considered a straw purchase and is illegal.  The denied person would need to go through the appeals process.  “Any person who knowingly purchases or otherwise obtains a firearm on behalf of or for transfer to a person who the transferor knows or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal or state law commits a class 4 felony.” (CRS 18-12-111)



FFL Specific FAQs

The buyer answered “yes” to one of the questions between 21b-k on the federal form 4473. Can I still submit the background check to CBI?

No. If the buyer answered yes to any of those questions, then they are not legally allowed to purchase or possess firearms.

If a background check is rejected, does my store still get charged?

No. If a check is rejected for any reason, no fee is assessed.  However, once you receive a CBI Transaction number for an approval or denial, the fee will be reported and billed to you for payment on a monthly basis. 

My buyer was put on delay.  How long until I receive a response?

Under Colorado law “It is unlawful for a licensed gun dealer to transfer a firearm to a transferee until the dealer has obtained approval for the firearms transfer from the Bureau, after the Bureau has completed any background check required by State or Federal law.” This applies to background checks that take longer than 3 business days to complete.

You can review the details of the bill at https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb21-1298

Can an out of state resident redeem a pawned handgun in Colorado?

Yes, with possession of their pawn ticket.  The individual redeeming the firearm must also be able to successfully pass a firearm background check. 

Can I run a buyer through the CBI InstaCheck system just to see if they would pass?

No, the CBI InstaCheck system can only be utilized for the purpose of processing background checks for an active firearm background check.  “Any person who violates the provisions … commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.” (CRS 24-33.5-424) 

What steps should I take if someone I’m running is denied?

You should provide the buyer with an appeal form and advise them to follow the instructions to appeal their denial.  CBI cannot provide any information to the denied person regarding the denial over the phone. 

What is a Straw Purchase?

A Straw Purchase refers to “Any person who knowingly purchases or otherwise obtains a firearm on behalf of or for transfer to a person who the transferor knows or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal or state law commits a class 4 felony.” (CRS 18-12-111)