Is Possession Of A Firearm While Intoxicated A Felony?

The graphic shows an intoxicated man holding a drink in one hand a gun in the other. In the bottom right corner is the title of the blog which reads, "Is Possession Of A Firearm While Intoxicated A Felony?"

In Colorado, under C.R.S 18-12-106, it is illegal to carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Unfortunately, it’s common for individuals to face charges of prohibited possession because they don’t fully understand Colorado gun laws.

At Colorado Handgun Safety, in addition to providing men and women with a safe and welcoming environment to improve their handgun skills, we also want to be a resource for people to understand Colorado gun laws fully. As a handgun owner and user, it’s your responsibility to understand handgun laws. In this case, if you’re in Colorado and you have a firearm in your possession while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can face serious criminal charges. Keep reading to find out the risks of being found guilty of misusing a weapon.

The image shows a man sitting at desk with a cigarette in one hand and an alcoholic beverage in the other and there's a gun sitting on the desk in front of him.

What Is Prohibited Use Of A Weapon?

According to C.R.S. 18-12-106, a Coloradoan faces a class 2 misdemeanor if found guilty of a prohibited use of weapons charge. According to this statute, prohibited use of a weapon includes:

  1. Knowingly and unlawfully aiming a firearm at another person.
  2. You recklessly or with criminal negligence discharge a firearm or shoot a bow and arrow.
  3. You knowingly set a loaded gun, trap, or device designed to cause an explosion when tripped or approached and leave it unattended by a competent person immediately present.
  4. Possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance.
  5. You knowingly aim, throw, or swing a throwing star or nunchaku at another individual.

The prohibited use of a weapon in Colorado extends far past using a handgun irresponsibly. If you’re carrying other weapons, such as a bow and arrow or a nunchaku, you can face a prohibited use of a weapon charge. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to fire your gun to be found guilty of prohibited use of a weapon. Simply having a gun on you while under the influence is enough to charge you. 

The image shows a gun laying on a table next to an alcoholic beverage.

Consequences Of Unlawful Use Of A Weapon

The charge for prohibited use of a weapon is a class 2 misdemeanor and carries a possible sentence of:

  1. Probation with possible jail time of up to 60 days.
  2. Probation with a two-year work release sentence.
  3. Jail for up to one year. 

Understand Colorado Gun Laws With Colorado Handgun Safety 

If you own or use a handgun, you have a responsibility to make sure you understand the gun laws in Colorado. The last thing you want to happen is to wind up in jail and pay a fine because you misunderstood what you were and were not legally allowed to do. One of the most important gun laws comes from C.R.S. 18-12-106, which states that it’s illegal to carry a firearm while intoxicated. Although possession of a firearm while intoxicated isn’t a felony, it can still get you serious jail time and a sizeable financial penalty if found guilty. To stay up to date with the gun laws in Colorado, make sure to read our blog to check out articles about other Colorado gun laws!

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