Requirements to qualify for a license
To apply for a CWP in Colorado you must be at least 21 years old and you must be a resident of Colorado. You must be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law. This became more interesting with the passage of marijuana laws in Colorado. If you have a medical marijuana card or you own a dispensary your permit will be denied. This is because federal law prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances from possessing a firearm. There are questions on the application that will help your county sheriff determine if you are a user or are addicted to alcohol or controlled substances.
You cannot be subject to a restraining order and you cannot have committed a crime that would keep you from possessing a firearm.
Colorado is a “shall issue” state but the Sheriff still has the final say. If the sheriff has reason to believe that your prior behavior would make you a danger to the community, he may deny your permit even if you meet all the qualifications.
Colorado also allows temporary emergency permits. You only have to be 18 years old to obtain this permit. An emergency permit is only valid for 90 days. You still have to pass the criminal background check but you do not have to show competency with a handgun. The sheriff must have reason to believe that you are in imminent danger to issue this type of permit.
Finally you must pass a firearm safety training class. This class can be something given by local law enforcement or by colleges or other firearms training schools. Your instructor must be certified to teach this type of class. If you have prior law enforcement or military training you may not have to take the class. Check with your county sheriff to determine if your training meets the guidelines.
Colorado Concealed Carry Class
Enter your zip code here to find a Colorado concealed carry class near you.
What will you learn in class?
Don't worry if you are completely new to handguns. Your instructor will start with the basics. You will learn how to properly handle a gun as well as how to clean and maintain it. Once you learn the basic rules of gun safety your instructor will move into more advanced topics.
You will learn how to choose the right ammunition to carry. Most instructors will tell you to carry hollow point ammo. The hollow tip of a bullet causes it to break apart on impact which decreases penetration. This is good for you because you don't want your bullets hitting unintended targets. You can be sued by innocent bystanders who are hurt when you fire a weapon. In some states you can even be sued by the person you shot in a self defense situation.
Pay special attention to the section about Colorado laws. Colorado is a "Castle Doctrine" state and has a "Stand your ground" law. You need to understand what this means to you. If you don't follow the law it could mean jail time.
Your instructor will present you with a certificate of completion at the end of class. This certificate is good for 10 years. You may apply for your concealed weapons permit anytime within that 10 year period.
How long does it take to get a license?
Your county sheriff has up to 90 days to approve or deny your permit. Make sure you include everything requested with your application because the 90 day period does not start until the sheriff receives all needed documents.
How much does the license cost?
Your local sheriff will determine the fees but the maximum application fee is $100. You will also be charged fees for fingerprinting and background checks. In Boulder county the additional fees total $52.50.
Reciprocity with other states
Colorado recognizes the permits of any other state that also recognizes the Colorado permit. A Colorado permit holder can currently carry in 33 other states.
Note: When traveling to other states make sure you contact the attorney general of those states to make sure you are allowed to carry your weapon. Laws are always changing and you need to go straight to the source.
Where can you not carry a concealed weapon?
- Places prohibited by federal law
- Public schools (except for in a locked vehicle or while you are in the vehicle)
- Public buildings where permanent metal detectors are in place
- You cannot carry while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance
Colorado does not allow online CCW training. Make sure you find an in-person class. Find a Colorado concealed carry class with one of these great instructors: