A Heavy Load: Carrying a Long Gun in Colorado

The following is a video transcript.

You must be 18 years old to purchase a long gun and 21 to purchase a handgun. There are no other practical differences between the purchase of a long gun and a handgun, so you will recognize many of the steps to that process. That is:

  • · You must be the legal age;
  • · Provide a Colorado ID; and
  • · Submit to a background check conducted by an FFL.

Once you have the long gun, you can lawfully possess it in your vehicle without a permit, but long guns must be unloaded while in your vehicle. This is different from handguns, which have no such requirement. You must also follow Colorado’s magazine restriction, which makes it illegal to possess a magazine that accepts more than 15 rounds of ammunition.


Open carry of long guns is the same as open carry for handguns.

I personally advise my own clients and U.S. LawShield members not to carry openly. It only takes one anti-2A person to claim you pointed the gun at them, and you’ll be facing a he said/she said situation while defending a criminal charge. It’s just not worth it.

That said, if you decide to exercise your right to carry openly, be mindful of municipalities like Denver and Boulder that prohibit open carry. These local laws—at least as to Denver—have been upheld against challenges under state law and the state constitution on the basis that a densely populated city has a local interest in preventing firearm injuries. Other cities, while not banning open carry outright, prohibit open carry in particular locations such as city buildings or

city parks. State law allows cities to enact such laws banning open carry in public spaces, provided the city post signs at the public entrance of such spaces informing the public of the restriction.

If you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call me at my office. I’m always happy to speak with U.S. LawShield members.

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