How To Obtain a Permit To Carry a Concealed Handgun in Colorado
(18-12-203 C.R.S.)

Cost and procedure for obtaining a Colorado concealed carry permit

Colorado law permits residents with a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm. Without such a permit, carrying a concealed weapon is normally a violation of Colorado law.

To help you better understand the process for obtaining a Colorado concealed handgun permit, our Colorado criminal lawyers address the following, below:

handgun and blank concealed handgun permit application

1. Who may obtain a Colorado concealed carry permit?

You can obtain a Colorado permit to carry a concealed handgun from a sheriff if ALL of the following apply:

  • You are a legal resident of the state of Colorado or you or a member of your immediate family is a member of the armed forces on permanent duty at a military installation in Colorado;
  • You are twenty-one years of age or older;
  • You are not ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law;
  • You have not been convicted of perjury in relation to information provided or deliberately omitted on a permit application;
  • You do not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired (unless you have an affidavit signed by a licensed professional addiction specialist confirming you have refrained from using alcohol for at least three years);[fn]
  • You are not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance as defined under federal law and regulations;
  • You are not subject to a permanent or temporary protection order at the time your application is submitted:
  • You demonstrate competence with a handgun by submitting:
    • Evidence of experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service;
    • Evidence that, at the time your application is submitted, you are a certified instructor;
    • Proof of honorable discharge from a branch of the United States armed forces within the three years preceding submittal of the application;
    • Proof of honorable discharge from a branch of the United States armed forces that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application;
    • A certificate showing retirement from a Colorado law enforcement agency that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application; or
    • A training certificate from a handgun training class obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application. You must submit the original training certificate or a photocopy thereof that includes the original signature of the class instructor.

However, even if you meet all of these requirements, if the sheriff has a reasonable belief that your documented previous behavior makes it likely you will present a danger to yourself or others if you receive a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the sheriff may deny your application.

2. Procedure and cost for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed handgun

You can obtain a concealed carry application from the sheriff in the county in which you reside or where you own or lease real property you use for business.

The cost of applying for a concealed handgun permit may not exceed $100.

The application will require you to disclose:

  • Your full name, birth name, date of birth, address and any other names you have previously gone by;
  • Your home address(es) for the ten-year period immediately preceding submittal of your application;
  • Whether you are a resident of Colorado and whether you have a valid driver's license or other state-issued photo identification or a military order proving residence; and
  • Whether you meet the criteria for obtaining a permit as set forth above.

Return your completed application form, in person, to the sheriff and sign in in front of an authorized employee of the department.

If you knowingly and intentionally make a false or misleading statement on a permit application or you deliberately omit any material information, your application can be denied and you can be charged with perjury under Colorado 18-1.3-501 C.R.S.

You will also be required to provide:

  • A full set of fingerprints (to be taken by the Sheriff),
  • Documentary evidence demonstrating competence with a handgun, as set forth above;
  • A full frontal view color photograph of your head taken within the thirty days immediately preceding submittal of the permit application (or by the Sheriff). The photo must measure 1 1/8 inches wide and one 1 ¼” high, and shall show your full head, including hair and facial features; and
  • A valid Colorado driver's license or valid Colorado or military photo identification for comparison.

3. How long is my concealed carry permit good for?

Unless it is revoked, your Colorado concealed carry permit is good for 5 years from the date of issue. After that, it must be renewed.

However, the sheriff may deny, revoke, or refuse to renew a permit if he or she has a reasonable belief that you no longer meets the criteria set forth above or that you present to yourself or others.

If the sheriff suspends or revokes your permit, you will be notified in writing of the grounds for suspension or revocation and given the opportunity to submit additional information for the record and to seek judicial review of the decision.

You can apply for a renewal within one hundred twenty days prior to expiration of your permit. Renewal forms can be obtained from:

  • The sheriff of the county or city and county in which you reside, or 
  • The sheriff of the county or city and county in which you maintain a secondary residence or own or lease real property you use for a business.

The fee for a renewal shall not exceed $50.

4. Restrictions on alcoholics and drug addicts

You are not legally entiteld to obtain a Colorado concealed handgun carry permit if you are a habitual user of drugs and/or alcohol. You are considered a chronic and habitual user of alcoholic beverages with impaired faculties if:

  • You have at any time been committed as an alcoholic, or
  • Within the ten-year period immediately preceding the date on which your permit application is submitted, you have had two or more alcohol-related driving convictions in Colorado or any other jurisdiction.

5. Restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon

To make use of your permit, it must have a color photograph of you and you must have both it and a state-issued photo ID with you at all times during which you are in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

Upon demand by a law enforcement officer, you must produce both. Failure to carry and produce a permit and valid photo identification upon demand is a class 1 petty offense. It can be punished by:

  • A fine of up to $500, and/or 
  • 6 months in jail.

However, if at or before your scheduled court appearance, you show the court a valid permit and valid photo identification issued before the date of your offense, the court will dismiss the charges.

In addition, having a concealed handgun permit does not authorize you to violate 18-12-105 C.R.S., Colorado's law on carrying a concealed weapon. Among the acts you may not do under this law are:

  • Carry a concealed handgun into a place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law;
  • Carry a concealed handgun into a public school (unless you are an armed security officer employed by the school or the school is legally used for hunting or other shooting sports);
  • Carry a concealed handgun into a public building at which handguns are not legally permitted.

Call us for help…

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Our Colorado criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout the state on concealed carry violations and other Colorado gun crimes.

If you or someone you know has been arrested on a Colorado weapons charge, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

You can reach through the confidential form on this page, or by calling us at our Denver home office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202
720-955-6112 

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