Colorado has stronger gun laws than many states, but still has significant room for improvement, earning a C in our Annual Gun Law Scorecard. In 2019, Colorado passed an extreme risk protection order law, facilitating the temporary removal of firearms from at-risk individuals. In 2017, Colorado had the 24th-highest gun death rate among the states, and exported roughly the same number of crime guns it imported. To save lives, lawmakers in Colorado could pass laws requiring waiting periods for all firearm sales, raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, and require owners to report lost and stolen firearms.
State Law Background
- Requires a background check processed by a licensed firearms dealer before most firearm transfers, including most unlicensed transfers;
- Has established a procedure for the surrender of firearms by convicted domestic abusers and abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders; and
- Prohibits the sale, transfer and possession of certain large-capacity ammunition magazines.
Colorado still does not, however:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons or 50 caliber rifles;
- Require firearm dealers to obtain a state license;
- Require firearm owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Require handguns to meet design safety standards;
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales; or
- Provide law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In 2017, Colorado had the 24th highest gun death rate among the states. 779 people died from firearms injuries in Colorado that year. Colorado exports roughly the same number of crime guns as it imports.