This article is meant to take a look at Colorado’s open carry laws so that you folks can get a better idea what is and is not legal in the state.
The state of Colorado protects the right to bear arms under Article II, Section 13 of its state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. Colorado requires a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed outside of the dwelling or car (personal transportation). A permit, however, does not authorize a person to use a firearm in a manner that would violate a provision of state law. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-214.)
A permit is not required to carry a handgun where carrying firearms is legal, if the handgun is not concealed. A handgun is not considered concealed if it is in the possession of a person who is in a private automobile or if the person is carrying it through an approved or legal use, such as hunting. Exempt from the requirement of a permit to carry a concealed handgun are peace officers of Colorado, U.S. probation officers, law enforcement officers employed by jurisdiction outside of the state, and retired peace officers.
However legal it may be to have a handgun inside of an automobile, it is unlawful to have a firearm other than a handgun in or on any motor vehicle unless the chamber is unloaded. It is also unlawful to carry or possess a firearm without legal authority on the property of, or within any government building in. It is unlawful to possess, without legal authority, a firearm in or on the real estate of any school, college, university, or seminary, with some exceptions.
Now, there are certainly additional questions as well as more in-depth looks into such things as who is not allowed to possess a gun, and what public places do or do not allow them. We will be going over those in specific articles, later on, due to the complexity of some of the situations. For right now, however, we have a wonderful FAQ page on our Colorado site with a lot of helpful information.
If you have specific questions that you would like covered in future articles about Colorado’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.
Information compounded from the NRA and Colorado state legal texts.