There are numerous debates about American citizens right to bear arms. Some say the laws are outdated and no longer needed, while others believe it has never been needed more. But regardless of these debates, there are laws that citizens are beholden to if they own a firearm, and these laws differ form state to state. Some states have strict laws that not only limit the type of firearms that can be owned, but also have other restrictions as well in place. Such as open and concealed carry laws. A few of the stricter states are Illinois and California. Other states have much more lenient laws in place such as Texas and New Mexico.
In Colorado, we have lenient gun laws in place to which most Coloradoans couldn’t be happier. The following will outline what these laws are, and if you live in Colorado, what to be aware of as far as your rights with the ownership and use of a firearm.
Every state requires that a background check be done before the sale of a firearm is completed. The reason for this is that it is illegal in every state for a felon to purchase, or be in possession of a gun.
Some states require a permit to be purchased and issued if a gun is to be purchased. This is not the case with Colorado; there are no permits that must be acquired prior to the purchase of a firearm.
Some states require you to register a firearm if purchased, or if ownership of said gun changes, as does the registration. This is not required in Colorado, the purchase and trade of weapons is not watched over by the state. Though, if the firearm changes owners, the seller must still ensure that the new owner is not a registered felon.
States have various assault weapon laws, which prohibit or limit the types of guns that can be owned. Colorado only has an assault weapon ban in the city of Denver. Though outside the city, assault weapons are allowed but only if the automatic fire ability is disabled.
Some states require the owners of firearms to be licensed. Meaning that if you wish to own a gun, you must first take classes and pass a test saying you know how to safely operate a firearm. Colorado does not require owners to be licensed.
Every state requires that a permit be issued if you wish to carry a concealed weapon. This is obviously needed so that people don’t assume everyone is hiding a firearm on them, and the only ones who are, the state said they were able to do so. It drastically reduces paranoia in that realm. The argument against that though is that those who shouldn’t have weapons obviously won’t be brandishing them openly. So why limit those who wouldn’t use them for illegal purposes.
Many states do not allow citizens to openly carry of a firearm without a permit. Brandishing weapons is also frowned upon in states where it is actually allowed. Colorado is one of the sates that allow people to openly carry a firearm without a permit. Though in Denver it is prohibited, and you can be charged with disturbing the peace. But outside of Denver, it is allowed.
Concealing a weapon within a vehicle is also prohibited in most states. Though in Colorado it is allowed under certain circumstances. Long guns must be unloaded if in a vehicle, which means that a round cannot be chambered in the rifle. This law does not apply to pistols however.
In Colorado we have a law in place called the Castle Doctrine. This law states that a legal resident has the right to defend himself or others, as well as their property, whether the intruders armed or not, with deadly force. This law also falls in line with the notorious Make My Day Law, which as funny as it sounds, means that a person can defend themselves with deadly force if needed.
All of these laws are in place to direct the actions Colorado citizens can take in regards to the use and ownership of firearms. Which again, is aligned with our natural born right to the pursuit of happiness. You cannot be completely happy, if you live under any sort of fear or persecution. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness can only be assured if we protect ourselves from having those rights taken away or limited.
The author of this article was Damien S. Wilhelmi, an SEO warrior, marketing munk and all around bad-ace. If content or analysis is needed… I’ll be your hucklberry. I am writing on behalf of the Phil Clark Law office in regards to criminal defence attorneys.