The Effects of Criminal Convictions on Concealed Carry and Gun Ownership Rights in Colorado

Your ability to carry a concealed firearm, or even own a firearm, can be limited or taken away based on certain convictions. 

If you’ve been charged with a felony and certain misdemeanors, your gun ownership rights are at risk.  So, before you decide whether you want to fight the charges or accept a plea deal, consider the following.

Federal Law can Take Away Your Gun Rights – Even for State Crimes.

Federal law prohibits a person convicted of any felony, even a state-level felony, from owning a firearm or ammunition.[1]  But this federal law goes further.  Among other things, it also prohibits gun ownership for those addicted to drugs, those discharged from the military dishonorably, and those subject to certain restraining orders.[2]  It even prohibits those convicted of domestic violence, even if it was a misdemeanor, from owning a firearm or ammunition.[3]

While the inability to own a gun is bad enough, the repercussions can also affect employment.  Why?  Because the law does not just apply to ownership – it also applies to simply possessing a firearm, even if it’s only for employment.[4]  This means that if you are in the military, you will very likely be discharged since possessing a firearm is considered a requirement for continued enlistment or commission.  Additionally, if you’re a police officer or even an armed security guard, it is very likely you will be terminated since doing your job requires the ability to possess a firearm.

Colorado State Law can also Take Away your Gun Rights.

Colorado, like the federal government, has a law which makes it illegal for anyone convicted of a felony, in any state or federal jurisdiction, to own a firearm in Colorado.[5]  Possessing or owning a firearm in such cases is a Class 5 or 6 felony, depending on the circumstances.[6]  Also like federal law, it is illegal under Colorado law to own or possess a firearm if you have been convicted of domestic violence, even it was charged as a misdemeanor.[7]

Can I Lose My Gun Rights for DUI or DUI-D Charges in Colorado?

But what if you haven’t been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence?  Well, unfortunately, Colorado can also restrict your ability to obtain and maintain a conceal carry permit if you are deemed to “chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that [your] normal faculties are impaired,” or you are addicted to a controlled substance.[8]  And this is true even if you already have a concealed carry permit.  In fact, under Colorado Law, “[t]he sheriff shall . . . revoke . . . a permit if . . . a permittee fails to meet one of the criteria listed.”[9]  But, how does the state show that you chronically and habitually use alcohol or are addicted to drugs?  Repeated DUI and DUI-D charges are one common way people find themselves dealing with this.

How I Help Protect the Gun Rights of Clients

As a criminal defense lawyer, it is my job to look at the effects your charges can have on you, including the impact that charges or convictions can have on your gun rights if you are a gun enthusiast.  Knowing whether you are a gun enthusiast, as well as other matters that are important to you, will play a significant role in determining how your case should proceed.  If you have been charged with a crime, give me a call – all consultations are free.  And with 15 years of criminal law experience, I’m confident I can help you obtain the best results possible.


[1] 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).  This law also prohibits gun shops from selling you a firearm or ammunition if they have reason to believe you have even been charged with a felony.  18 U.S.C. § 922(d).

[2] 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)-(9).

[3] 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).  As with felonies, the law also prohibits gun shops from selling you a firearm or ammunition if they have reason to believe you have even been charged with a crime of domestic violence, even if it’s a misdemeanor.  18 U.S.C. § 922(d).

[4] 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)-(h).

[5] C.R.S. 18-12-108.

[6] C.R.S. 18-12-108(1).

[7] C.R.S. 18-6-801(8)(A)(1)(a).

[8] C.R.S. 18-12-203(1)(e)(I).

[9] C.R.S. 18-12-203(3).

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