There are many reasons people want to buy a firearm, whether it's for their own protection or for hunting and sporting purposes. It used to be a simple process to purchase firearms privately compared to a purchase from a store. Unfortunately, buying guns through private sales in Denver and Arapahoe County has become somewhat tedious. The Colorado legislature is mostly to blame for this. They passed laws restricting our 2nd Amendment rights in order to appear tough on gun crimes. Our lawyers understand the frustration that comes along with government regulation of handgun sales and transfers. Let's look more closely into the law of Private Firearm Transfers in Colorado, so you understand what citizens are now up against.
Colorado Private Firearm Transfers, C.R.S. 18-12-112
In Douglas and El Paso County, there are specific requirements for someone who's not a licensed gun dealer to transfer a firearm. If someone wishes to transfer or attempts to transfer a firearm, he or she must first ask for a Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) background check for a potential buyer (transferee). Afterwards, a seller (transferor) must provide a licensed gun dealer with the completed background check. The dealer should then record the transfer and retain the records in the same way he would when conducting a sale, rental, or exchange at retail. He must also comply with all state and federal laws just as he would if transferring the firearm from his inventory to a prospective buyer (C.R.S 18-12-112 (2)(b)). Finally, a licensed gun dealer is required to provide both the seller and the buyer a copy of the background check results. If a firearm transfer is approved, the approval is valid for up to thirty days.
If facing charges or convictions surrounding a private firearms transfer, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
More on Private Firearm Sales in Denver
For those who are wondering, a private firearm sale is very similar to a gun dealer sale. One way it's similar to a gun dealer sale is that firearm information must be included in a record of a private sale like it is in a gun dealer sale. Then, the information is retained by the dealer. It's also similar to a gun dealer sale because if someone is denied the right to buy or sell a firearm due to their background check, law enforcement could be notified. If found violating any of the rules surrounding firearm transfers in Aurora and Denver, you may face a class 1 misdemeanor charge or conviction. A class 1 misdemeanor may result in up to eighteen months in the Adams County Jail and an inability to possess a firearm for two years. It is always in your best interest to consult an expert firearms lawyer if facing criminal charges.
Firearms Law Exceptions in Denver and Across Colorado
In Douglas County, exceptions to this law include:
- Antique firearms
- A loan or gift between immediate family
- Temporary use of a gun at a shooting range
- A transfer after someone's death
- Use of the gun at shooting competitions
- A transfer from a person serving in the armed forces
- Use of a gun while hunting, fishing, target shooting or trapping
- Use of a gun for firearm's repair
Other exceptions include use of a gun in the continuous presence of the transferor, a temporary transfer in the home of the transferee, and a transfer that occurs in less than 72 hours. Of course, these are summarized exceptions of the Private Firearms Transfers law, which means there are many more details in the restrictions for each category that should be examined with an experienced firearms lawyer.
Facing Charges from a Firearm Transfer? You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Owning a gun is often a privilege. Yet, sometimes that privilege can be taken away because of a mistake that resulted in a criminal conviction. In some cases, people are charged with a crime if they attempt to buy a gun unlawfully. If they try to purchase a gun unlawfully, it could result in charges of Attempted Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender. This would be charged as a felony in Jefferson and Denver County. Additionally, any harm towards another individual using a gun could result in harsh civil liability issues. If facing any charges or convictions regarding a private firearms transfer, contact the best criminal defense lawyers at O'Malley and Sawyer today. We care for your circumstances and will fight hard to protect your future.
Private Firearms Transfers – Background Check Required – Penalty – Definitions Statute— C.R.S 18-12-112
“ (1) (a) On and after July 1, 2013, except as described in subsection (6) of this section, before any person who is not a licensed gun dealer, as defined in section 12-26.1-106 (6), C.R.S., transfers or attempts to transfer possession of a firearm to a transferee, he or she shall:
(I) Require that a background check, in accordance with section 24-33.5-424, C.R.S., be conducted of the prospective transferee; and
(II) Obtain approval of a transfer from the bureau after a background check has been requested by a licensed gun dealer, in accordance with section 24-33.5-424, C.R.S.
(b) As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise, “transferee” means a person who desires to receive or acquire a firearm from a transferor. If a transferee is not a natural person, then each natural person who is authorized by the transferee to possess the firearm after the transfer shall undergo a background check, as described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), before taking possession of the firearm.
(2) (a) A prospective firearm transferor who is not a licensed gun dealer shall arrange for a licensed gun dealer to obtain the background check required by this section.
(b) A licensed gun dealer who obtains a background check on a prospective transferee shall record the transfer, as provided in section 12-26-102, C.R.S., and retain the records, as provided in section 12-26-103, C.R.S., in the same manner as when conducting a sale, rental, or exchange at retail. The licensed gun dealer shall comply with all state and federal laws, including 18 U.S.C. sec. 922, as if he or she were transferring the firearm from his or her inventory to the prospective transferee.
(c) A licensed gun dealer who obtains a background check for a prospective firearm transferor pursuant to this section shall provide the firearm transferor and transferee a copy of the results of the background check, including the bureau's approval or disapproval of the transfer.
(d) A licensed gun dealer may charge a fee for services rendered pursuant to this section, which fee shall not exceed ten dollars.
(3) (a) A prospective firearm transferee under this section shall not accept possession of the firearm unless the prospective firearm transferor has obtained approval of the transfer from the bureau after a background check has been requested by a licensed gun dealer, as described in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section.
(b) A prospective firearm transferee shall not knowingly provide false information to a prospective firearm transferor or to a licensed gun dealer for the purpose of acquiring a firearm.
(4) If the bureau approves a transfer of a firearm pursuant to this section, the approval shall be valid for thirty calendar days, during which time the transferor and transferee may complete the transfer.
(5) A person who transfers a firearm in violation of the provisions of this section may be jointly and severally liable for any civil damages proximately caused by the transferee's subsequent use of the firearm.”