Colorado Springs Concealed Weapon Attorneys
Colorado laws allow individuals with valid carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) permits to legally have knives and firearms on their person, not in clear view, anywhere weapons aren’t prohibited. Carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit—or bringing a weapon onto premises where they are prohibited—can result in serious criminal charges and penalties.
Whether you are looking to learn more about CCW laws in Colorado or you have been charged with violating these statutes, here is the most important information to know. To get answers and advice specific to your situation, contact a 5-star criminal defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C.
What is a Concealed Weapon?
A concealed weapon is a firearm or knife that is not visible to the average observer. This does not necessarily include holstered weapons, which can be discerned and visible even when contained within the holster. It does, however, include weapons that are within reach and not specifically on your person. This could include a weapon strapped under furniture or contained in a handbag.
What Weapons Are Prohibited Under Colorado’s Concealed Carry Law?
Prohibited weapons include (and are not limited to):
- Firearms, regardless of whether they are operable
- Knives with at least 3.5-inch blades, when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the knife was going to be used as a weapon
- Any explosive device by government property
- Any other illegal or dangerous weapon
While a CCW permit can allow firearms and some knives to be carried (in certain areas), this permit does not necessarily allow for the concealed carry of any weapon. For example, illegal explosives and illegal weapons will still be prohibited, with or without a valid CCW permit.
When Can I Carry a Concealed Weapon in Colorado?
CCW permit holders can carry a legally concealed weapon anywhere it is not prohibited by law. Prohibitions for concealed carry are in place for public and government buildings, including (but not limited to) schools, courthouses, libraries, and polling places.
Additionally, Colorado law permits concealed carry for those who are hunting or who are:
- On private property they own or control, regardless of whether that’s residential or commercial property
- Within any private traveling conveyance, including cars, when the weapon is intended for protection
- In national parks, as long as all federal and state laws are being followed
- Officers of a law enforcement department, probation office, or pretrial services, as long as the weapon is carried and/or used in full accordance with the department’s policies and Colorado law
With Colorado concealed carry laws, it’s also crucial to know that:
- Some types of assault weapons are prohibited by Denver County.
- A “no gun” or “no concealed weapons” sign is not necessarily backed by the law. In other words, outside of public or government buildings, these signs display the preferences of the business, not the law.
- Colorado state laws preempt any local laws. That means that, if there’s any conflict in local ordinances versus state laws, Colorado state laws will prevail.
How Do I Get a CCW Permit in Colorado?
CCW permit applications are available at county sheriff’s departments. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department (EPCS) has CCW permit applications here, for new applicants and renewals, available online for download. According to the EPCS, applicants must:
- Full complete and not sign the 2-page application: Incomplete applications won’t be processed. Completed applications will have to be signed in person, at the EPCS.
- Bring their valid driver’s license with them: When submitting the application, they must have a valid driver’s license showing an El Paso County address. Military IDs are also acceptable.
- Bring the other required items: This includes a means to pay the $135 fee and proof of completing firearms safety training. Fees for renewals are $63 as of January 2020.
In order for a CCW permit to be granted, applicants must be at least 21 and pass a background check (in addition to satisfying all of the above requirements).
What Are the Penalties For Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Colorado?
Violating CCW laws can result in any number of charges and potential penalties, depending on the weapon involved, where it was taken, and/or whether other crimes allegedly occurred. Generally, when CCW laws are violated without any aggravating circumstances:
- A first-time violation is usually filed as a Class 2 misdemeanor. This can be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
- If a second or another offense happens within 5 years of a prior conviction, Class 5 felony charges can be filed. Upon conviction, these charges can be punishable by up to 3 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
With CCW violations, charges, and penalties, it’s also important to understand that:
- Other penalties can be imposed: For example, a felony conviction can result in the loss of the right to possess and carry firearms in the future.
- People on probation can face additional cases and consequences: In the event someone is on probation and carrying a weapon violates the terms of probation, charges for a concealed carry offense will be a separate case from the probation violation case that will also likely ensue.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Charges of Violating Colorado CCW Laws?
No matter how careful you may be, oversights and mistakes can happen. Sometimes, that can put you on the wrong side of the law. When it does, there can be various ways to defend against the allegations, including (but not limited to) arguing that:
- You were a valid CCW permit holder complying with the rules at the time of the offense: This can be backed up by showing that a situation was misinterpreted and/or that a CCW permit is, in fact, valid.
- You are a valid CCW permit holder of another state that has CCW reciprocity with Colorado: This may be a defense for non-Coloradans, as long as their state is among the 33 states with which Colorado shares a reciprocity agreement. In these cases, it’s still necessary to prove that the defendant was in compliance with CCW laws.
- You were the target of entrapment: With this defense strategy, it would be necessary to show that law enforcement somehow coerced or convinced the defendant to break the law and commit the weapons violation.
- You were not aware that you were in possession of a concealed weapon: This can be the case when the weapon is found on borrowed property or on premises (or in vehicles) owned by someone other than the defendant. In these cases, it will be up to the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was aware of the weapon. This can be a challenge to do when the defendant didn’t own that property.
- The weapon was discovered illegally: Just because a weapon has been found does not mean the search was legal. If the weapon was found outside of the scope of a warrant or during another type of illegal search, it may not be admissible as evidence in the case. That could provide sufficient grounds to seek a dismissal of or reduction in the charges.
An experienced lawyer can be crucial to identifying and presenting the best defense options in a given CCW criminal case. And given that prison, fines, and a criminal record may be just the beginning of the penalties that could follow, the sooner
Contact Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. | 30+ Years of Criminal Law Experience
If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun offense in Colorado, contact a 5-star criminal defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. As former prosecutors with decades of criminal trial experience, we are highly effective at anticipating the prosecution’s tactics to craft strong, strategic defense cases for all types of gun and weapons charges.
Find out more about your rights and best defense options by contacting us today.
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Do NOT settle for a guilty plea without contacting Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. We are highly effective at protecting our clients’ rights while striving for the best possible resolution. With decades of experience, we have what it takes to fight for fair results and favorable resolutions. Whenever possible, we will aggressively pursue the many alternatives to conviction and incarceration.
Our goal is to show the district attorney that you are a person and not just a case file. No matter how serious the weapons charges are—and regardless of whether you are facing CCW violation charges for the first time—we understand that your case is the most important thing in your life, and we treat your case as a matter of the utmost importance.
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