Life or Death with Someone Else’s Gun… | Colorado


Can you use someone else’s firearm to defend yourself if the situation arises?

Ordinarily, if you were going to receive a firearm from a third party, you would have to go through an FFL. Now there are some exceptions. If you’re at a firing range and you pass the firearm from one person to the next. Or the owner of the firearm is in the continuous presence of the person temporarily in possession of it.

But this is a little bit different than a self-defense situation. Envision a situation where you are inside your house and you are scared for some reason so you borrow a firearm from another person to defend yourself. There is an exception allowing this to occur, but it is a very specific set of circumstances. So, let’s go through it.

1. Must not Be a Prohibited Person

If you are going to loan a firearm to a third party, the third party must not be a prohibited person. In other words, they cannot have a felony conviction, they cannot have a crime involving domestic violence, and they cannot have a protection order in place. It is your responsibility to make sure they are not a prohibited person.

2. Imminent Fear of Death or Serious Bodily Injury

The other prong to this exception is the third party has to be in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury. For these purposes, “imminent” likely means an immediate or emergency situation.  A generalized fear is not sufficient, and you would not be able lend a firearm to a friend who generally fears an ex-spouse may one-day come to their house to do violence.

Those are really the two prongs required before you can loan your firearm to another person without using an FFL. This is a unique and specific set of circumstances and is not recommended without first contacting U.S. LawShield to talk about your specific situation.

If you have any other questions about the nuances of firearm possession or the use of defensive force generally, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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