What is the Legal Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms in Colorado?

I want to talk to you today about minimum ages for possessing or purchasing handguns and long guns. So, let’s talk about handguns first.


In Colorado, it is illegal for someone under the age of 18 to possess or purchase a handgun. Now, there are exceptions to that, such as if you are part of a competition, you’re taking a hunter or firearm safety course, you’re actually hunting, or you’re on an established gun range (not in your backyard). Those are the exceptions for someone who’s under the age of 18 to be in possession of a handgun.

Now, on the federal side, FFLs are not allowed to do a transfer of a handgun to anyone who’s under the age of 21. So, there is this sort of age range between the 18 and 21 where you can possess a handgun, but you can’t get one transferred to you by an FFL. So, how do you reconcile that? It’s simple: If you are a parent of a child who is 18, 19, or 20 years old, and you want to give them a firearm, you can do that, and they can be in lawful possession and ownership of that firearm, because an FFL is not required to make that type of transfer in Colorado.

Long Guns

For long guns, there is no Colorado law that says that you have to be a certain age in order to possess a long gun, but there is a similar federal statute that applies to long guns, and it says that an FFL cannot transfer a long gun to someone who is under the age of 18. Now, with the same method that we talked about with the FFL exception on the handguns, that same process would apply for the long gun. That means if you were a parent of someone who was under the age of 18, you could gift that long gun to that child, and because you wouldn’t need an FFL, they would be able to be in lawful possession, and even ownership of that long gun.

Thanks for watching, and feel free to call my office any time to talk about this or anything else.

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