In 2013, Colorado enacted a law requiring most unlicensed sellers (sellers who are not federally licensed dealers) to have a background check conducted on a prospective purchaser when transferring any firearm, whether at gun shows or elsewhere. See the Colorado Universal Background Checks section for further information.
In addition, in 2000, Coloradans voted in favor of a ballot initiative to require background checks specifically at gun shows. As a result, a separate provision of Colorado law requires all firearms transfers at gun shows to be processed by a licensed firearms dealer.1 Prospective purchasers are subject to the same background check process that applies to retail firearms transfers and processing dealers must record the transfer and retain the records in the same manner as with retail transfers (see the Colorado Background Checks and Dealer Regulations sections).2
Firearms dealers may charge a fee of up to $10 for conducting the background check, and gun show promoters must prominently post a notice setting forth the requirement for a background check.3 These provisions do not apply to the transfer of antique firearms or curios or relics, as defined under federal law.4
Colorado law defines a gun show as:
[T]he entire premises provided for an event or function, including but not limited to parking areas for the event or function, that is sponsored to facilitate, in whole or in part, the purchase, sale, offer for sale, or collection of firearms at which: (a) twenty-five or more firearms are offered or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange; or (b) not less than three gun show vendors exhibit, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange firearms.5
See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.