Acquiring a firearm is a critical step to take when the goal is protecting your home and family. It doesn’t take much to buy a gun in Colorado because no permit or registration is necessary before making the purchase, and open carry is legal in much of the state.
You will need a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP), though, if you wish to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in Colorado. This permit also requires you to complete a state-approved training class through a certified instructor.
It’s a good idea to learn a bit about the gun-buying process before entering any retailer in the state to ensure everything goes smoothly. This guide will examine the steps you’ll need to take when learning how to legally buy a gun in Colorado.
Getting Your CHP
Any Colorado resident 18 and older can open carry in most locations in the state, including vehicles, without a permit. Denver County has local laws prohibiting open carry in many places, though, so a concealed carry license is necessary to carry a weapon in that area. Here’s how the process works:
Gather Your Documentation
You’ll need a significant amount of documentation to apply for your CHP. Requirements include a valid piece of Colorado ID, proof of residency in the county in which you’re applying, a handgun training certificate, and a cashier’s check or money order to pay for the license. The permit costs $52, but the county sheriff can charge up to $100 in additional fees.
Submit Your Application
You must fill out the application form in your county of residence and mail it to the issuing police department with your supporting documentation. The police department or county sheriff will then contact you by phone to book an appointment to complete some additional steps.
Prepare for the Appointment
There are some more documents you’ll need to fill out and sign before your appointment. These items include Live Scan Fingerprinting, Authorization for Release of Information, and Non-Criminal Justice Applicant Privacy Statement forms. You should show up to your meeting with this documentation ready to submit.
Attend Your Appointment
Your appointment with the county sheriff will require you to sign your County Sheriffs of Colorado Concealed Handgun Permit Application in the presence of the county sheriff or a staff member. You’ll also have your fingerprints and photo taken during your appointment.
You’ll receive a notification when your application is approved, and the process can take as long as 90 days. Your CHP is then valid for five years.
7 Steps to Buy a Gun in Colorado
Buying a gun in Colorado offers the ability to protect your family in unforeseen circumstances. The good news is that the process is relatively straightforward because you don’t have to apply for a permit to make the purchase. Here are the steps you’ll take:
1. Select a Firearm
It helps to plan what kind of gun you’re planning to purchase. Many Colorado residents will buy a handgun for personal protection because they’re the easiest to carry. The state’s concealed carry laws only apply to handguns.
2. Visit a Licensed Dealer
Finding a federally licensed firearms dealer is the next step once you figure out what you want to buy. These dealers can guide you in the right direction as you seek a particular gun type and answer any questions you might have. Keep in mind that you can buy firearms privately in Colorado, but you’ll need to visit a licensed dealer for a background check and to receive approval from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
3. Complete a Background Check
Colorado is a point-of-contact state, so all background checks run through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The CBI uses state and federal data, including juvenile records, to determine if the individual can lawfully possess a firearm. The timeline for background checks varies based on the number of requests, and you’ll have to pay a fee at the gun shop as well.
4. Finalize the Purchase
It’s now time to buy your gun. Most federally licensed dealers will accept cash or credit card, while private sellers will likely prefer cash payment.
5. Take Your Firearm Home
You can take your gun home with you once you’ve completed your purchase. You are permitted to carry your gun in your vehicle with you, and it isn’t considered a concealed weapon in those circumstances. This scenario applies in Denver County too.
6. Register for Concealed Carry Training
You’ll need to take some firearms training classes from a state-approved instructor in Colorado before applying for a concealed carry permit. You must have completed this training within the last 10 years, and it must involve an in-person component because online courses are not accepted. The certificate you receive requires an original signature from a certified trainer.
7. Apply for Your CHP
The final step to becoming a safety-oriented gun owner is applying for your Colorado Concealed Handgun Permit. This license allows you to carry your concealed weapon in many locations around the state and ensures your rights are protected when entering Denver County.
It could take a few days to complete your gun purchase in Colorado, as background checks can sometimes take close to 60 hours. The process only takes a matter of minutes on some days, though, so it all depends on how busy government officials are when you apply.
Get Expert Concealed Carry Training
Colorado is strict about who can provide the firearms training required for a CHP. You’ll need to ensure you’re dealing with a state-approved instructor who will provide an original signature and in-person learning, or your application will be rejected.
Concealed Coalition provides state-approved instruction as you seek your CHP in Colorado. Our certified trainers will ensure you know how to safely handle your weapon, making it easier to protect your family in a time of crisis. Contact our team today to speak with us about your firearm training requirements.