Can I Carry my Concealed Weapon From City to City?
Carrying a gun in Colorado can be tricky especially if you intend to travel from city to city. This article clarifies the law in Colorado so that it is clear when you can, or cannot carry a weapon in your car.
Colorado has always had very strong “Second Amendment” firearm rights laws beginning with the Colorado state constitution:Colorado State Constitutional Provision Article II, Section 13.
“The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”
That legal support carries through to most Colorado State Statutes addressing the concealed carry laws. Here are some important rules to know about unlicensed conceal carry issues in Colorado:
Under Colorado’s Title 18-12-105(2): you are allowed to carry a firearm in a vehicle if the use of the weapon is for the “lawful protection of such person or another’s person or property. That same law allows a person to possess a handgun in a:
Dwelling, or Place of businessAn Important Hitch Transferring the Gun from One Venue to Another Plain View
While the weapon can be concealed as described you are NOT allowed to conceal the weapon as you transport it from venue to venue. Specifically, the weapon CANNOT be concealed when transporting it from your home, business, hotel room, the weapon must be in plain view.Transporting Weapons Between Local Cities And Towns
The Colorado state legislature recognized a problem when the City of Denver attempted to prohibit the concealment of weapons in automobiles when those automobiles entered the city. A law was then enacted 18-12-105.6 that prohibited local jurisdictions from enacting laws that restricted a citizens right to travel with a weapon.
This is called the “preemption” of local law. In a nutshell, the rule is this no local governing entity shall prohibit travel with a weapon for hunting or lawful protection of a person or property.
Here are the laws that apply (always, always read the law):§ 18-12-105.6. Limitation on local ordinances regarding firearms in private vehicles
- The general assembly hereby finds that:
- Section 3 of article II of the state constitution, the article referred to as the state bill of rights, declares that all persons have certain inalienable rights, which include the right to defend their lives and liberties;
- Section 13 of article II of the state constitution protects the fundamental right of a person to keep and bear arms and implements section 3 of article II of the state constitution;
- The general assembly recognizes a duty to protect and defend the fundamental civil rights set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (1);
- There exists a widespread inconsistency among jurisdictions within the state with regard to firearms regulations;
- This inconsistency among local government laws regulating lawful firearm possession and ownership has extraterritorial impact on state citizens and the general public by subjecting them to criminal and civil penalties in some jurisdictions for conduct wholly lawful in other jurisdictions;
- Inconsistency among local governments of laws regulating the possession and ownership of firearms results in persons being treated differently under the law solely on the basis of where they reside, and a person’s residence in a particular county or city or city and county is not a rational classification when it is the basis for denial of equal treatment under the law;
- This inconsistency places citizens in the position of not knowing when they may be violating the local laws and therefore being unable to avoid violating the law and becoming subject to criminal and other penalties.
- Based on the findings specified in subsection (1) of this section, the general assembly concludes that the carrying of weapons in private automobiles or other private means of conveyance for hunting or for lawful protection of a person’s or another’s person or property while traveling into, through, or within, a municipal, county, or city and county jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person stops in a jurisdiction, is a matter of statewide concern and is not an offense.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no municipality, county, or city and county shall have the authority to enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution that would restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for hunting or for lawful protection of a person’s or another’s person or property while traveling into, through, or within, a municipal, county, or city and county jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person stops in a jurisdiction.
In 2006, the Colorado Supreme Court held that state laws could not unconstitutionally infringe on Denver’s “home rule authority” as local authority applied to the issue of “open carry.” What that means is this: Denver IS allowed to ban, under certain circumstances, the open carrying of firearms, banning assault weapons and Saturday night specials. (State v. City and County of Denver, 139 P.3d 635 (Colo. 2006).), but there must be adequate posting of signage to warn people of the regulation.
Here again, is the relevant law:§ 29-11.7-104. Regulation Carrying Posting
A local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government’s jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no municipality, county, or city and county shall have the authority to enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution that would restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance for hunting or for lawful protection of a person’s or another’s person or property while traveling into, through, or within, a municipal, county, or city and county jurisdiction, regardless of the number of times the person stops in a jurisdiction.
Colorado gun laws can sometimes be confusing so here’s a tip when in doubt check out the Colorado Bureau of Investigations website or just call them at 303-239-4201.Colorado Criminal Law Can I Carry My Concealed Weapon From City to City?
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