Can My Choice of Ammo Land Me in a Colorado Jail Cell?

Federal Law Says No Armor-Piercing Bullets

On the federal side, there is a federal law that prohibits you from manufacturing or selling armor-piercing bullets. You can’t manufacture it and you cannot sell it. Now, there is no such law on the books here in Colorado. Nevertheless, we follow federal law, so you cannot, in Colorado, manufacture, or sell armor-piercing ammunition.

Magazine Restrictions

Now, we do have other ammunition restrictions in Colorado. One being, our magazine restriction. You cannot have a magazine that accepts more than fifteen rounds of ammunition. Now, if you had the magazine prior to 2013 when the law changed, you could be grandfathered in, but call my office and let’s talk about your specific case, because it can get a little bit tricky when you are proving that up.

Prohibited Persons

Wherever you are, you cannot possess ammunition if you are a felon, you’ve been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, if you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, etc. (and there’s quite a lengthy list). So, if you think you might fall under one of those prohibitions, also call my office. Let’s talk about your specific situation, because you can be charged on the federal side and as a state crime, for being in possession of ammunition if you are a prohibited person.

Does the Ammo fit the Crime?

Now, let’s talk about if you are involved in an incident and a prosecutor takes a look at the type of ammunition, and whether or not they might change their mind or make a charging decision based upon the ammunition you use, and it’s possible. Now, in Colorado, there is a proportionality review based upon whether or not your actions were deemed reasonable under the circumstances, whether you used a reasonable amount of force under the circumstances and if there was a lesser amount of force that was needed.

Now, if a prosecutor wanted to, they could say, “Well, listen. This person used this type of ammunition and therefore the amount of force exceeded what was reasonable under the circumstances.” That’s simply an argument that we would have to deal with, but it would be made on a case-by-case basis and it would really be subjective to that prosecutor’s charging decision. Obviously, that would only be one element of the self-defense statute that a jury would be considering in deciding whether to acquit you based upon that affirmative defense, and obviously, we would be arguing strongly against such insinuations.

If you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call me at my office. Always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield Members.

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