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Colorado law requires firearms to be safety stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised juveniles and other unauthorized users.1 A firearm is safely stored when:

(a) A person carries the firearm or keeps it within such close proximity that the person can retrieve the firearm as if it they were carrying it;

(b) The firearm is kept in a locked gun safe or other secure container or in a manner that a reasonable person would believe to be secure and a juvenile or resident of the premises who is ineligible to possess a firearm does not have access to the key, combination, or other unlocking mechanism necessary to open the safe or container;

(c) The person properly installs a locking device on the firearm and a juvenile or resident of the premises who is ineligible to possess a firearm does not have access to the key, combination, or other unlocking mechanism necessary to remove the locking device; or

(d) The firearm is a personalized firearm and the safety characteristics of the firearm are activated.2

A person commits unlawful storage of a firearm – a misdemeanor – when the person fails to responsibly and securely store a firearm, as described above upon any premises that the person owns or controls and the person knows or reasonably should know that:

(i) a juvenile can gain access to the firearm without the permission of the juvenile’s parent or guardian; or

(ii) a resident of the premises is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to state or federal law.3

Every licensed gun dealer must provide with each firearm sold or otherwise transferred a locking device capable of securing the firearm and must post notice of the safe storage law according to statutory requirements.4

In Colorado, a person is criminally liable for a felony if they:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly provides a handgun to any person under age 18;
  • Knows of a juvenile’s unlawful possession of a handgun and fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the juvenile’s conduct;
  • Is aware of a substantial risk that a juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony and permits the juvenile to possess a handgun; or
  • Is aware of a substantial risk that a juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony and fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the commission of the offense.5

Any person who sells, rents, or transfers ownership of a long gun to a juvenile without the consent of his or her parent or guardian is criminally liable for a misdemeanor.6 This provision also prohibits a person from allowing unsupervised possession of a long gun by a juvenile without the consent of his or her parent or guardian.7

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  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-114(1). A juvenile is someone who is under 18 years of age. ((Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.5[]
  2. Id. at (2).[]
  3. Id. at (2).[]
  4. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-405.[]
  5. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.7(1), (2).[]
  6. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.7(3).[]
  7. Id.[]