Many Coloradoans express their right to bear arms by openly carrying firearms in public places. In this blog post, we’ll answer the question: can you open carry in Colorado without a permit? You may be surprised to find out that Colorado is considered an “open-carry” state. That means that carrying a firearm in plain sight is not considered a crime. So while you can carry a firearm without a permit, there are still some restrictions on open carry in Colorado you need to know. As such, it is important to familiarize yourself with the law before you attempt to openly carry a firearm in public.
At Colorado Handgun Safety, a firearm training center across Colorado’s Front Range, we are here to provide you with top-notch firearm training and education. Our goal is to give gun owners resources to keep them informed of their rights and responsibilities. Our certified instructors offer professional instruction on a wide variety of topics, including open and concealed carry, so you can become the most responsible gun owner possible.
Ready to learn more about open carry in Colorado? Read on for everything you need to know.
What is Open Carry?
Open carry refers to the practice of carrying a firearm in plain sight without concealment. In other words, if you are carrying a gun on your hip in a holster, or in a bag slung over your shoulder, you are openly carrying that gun.
While the specifics vary from state to state, in general, open carry laws allow people to openly carry firearms as long as they follow certain rules and regulations. While open carry is legal in many states, it is important to be aware of the local laws and regulations before carrying a gun in public. For example, Colorado is one of 37 states that allow individuals to carry a firearm without a permit.
What are the Open Carry Laws in Colorado?
In Colorado, there is no permit required to openly carry a firearm in public. However, that doesn’t mean that there are no laws governing open carry. For example, you may be asking, “Can you open carry in Denver?” And the answer to your question is no! That is why it’s essential to research local law before openly carrying a firearm.
Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old to openly carry a gun in Colorado. You may not carry a gun in certain places, such as schools or government buildings. It is also essential to note that, even though open carry is legal in Colorado, you may still be asked to leave a business or other private property if the owner or manager asks you to do so.
What about Concealed Carry?
Concealed carry refers to carrying a gun in a way that is not visible to others. In order to carry a concealed gun in Colorado, you must have a valid permit. This is different from openly carrying a firearm.
For concealed carry, the gun must be hidden from plain view and carried in a manner that is not obvious to others. In order to obtain a concealed carry permit in Colorado, one must be at least 21 years of age and have completed a firearms training course.
The Bottom Line
Yes — you can open carry without a permit in Colorado if you are 18 and over. However, there are still some restrictions on open carry, such as where you are. It is important to familiarize yourself with the law before you attempt to openly carry a firearm in public.
Who Cannot Open Carry a Firearm in Colorado?
Even though open carry is legal in Colorado, there are still some restrictions on who can openly carry a firearm, including:
- Individuals under 18 years of age
- Individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law
- Individuals who are currently on parole or probation for a felony conviction
- Non-residents who do not share gun reciprocity with Colorado
Where Can I Not Open Carry in Colorado?
You also cannot openly carry a firearm in various places in Colorado, including on federal property, school grounds, and public places. Keep in mind that local laws may also prohibit open carry in certain places. It’s always best to check with your local law enforcement agency before carrying a gun in public. For example, the city of Denver does not allow individuals to openly carry a firearm.
What are the Consequences for Violating Colorado Open Carry Laws?
Attempting to open carry in a place where it is prohibited can result in serious penalties. The severity of the sentencing and penalties will depend on the violation itself as well as whether the individual has any previous criminal convictions.
Some possible penalties for violating open carry laws in Colorado include:
- Class 2 misdemeanor charge
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Class 5 felony
- Up to 3 years in prison
- Up to $100,000 in fines
As you can see, the penalties for violating open carry laws in Colorado can be quite severe. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with the law and make sure you are in compliance before carrying a gun in public.
Additionally, the best way to avoid any legal trouble is to carry your gun openly in a holster that is visible to others. This way, there is no question that you are carrying your gun in a legal and safe manner.
Learn More about Handgun Laws in Colorado with Colorado Handgun Safety
You should now have a good understanding of open carry laws in Colorado and how to go about carrying your handgun legally. Remember that you are allowed to open carry in Colorado in most places if you are over the age of 18. However, if you want to conceal carry your gun, you will need to get your CCW permit.
At Colorado Handgun Safety, we want you to learn more about handgun laws in Colorado. That is why we offer a variety of courses that can help you understand the law and stay safe while carrying a firearm. If you want to take the next step and start your CCW permit process, Colorado Handgun Safety can also help! No matter if you have questions about openly carrying a handgun or want to enroll in one of our courses, we are here for you. View our class schedule or contact us to get started!