Gun crimes and weapons offenses cover a wide territory. The laws affect what kind of weapon you can possess or use, and where and you can possess or use it. Penalties range from misdemeanors to serious felonies. If you have been charged with a weapon crime, call Castañeda Law for a consultation. We know the law and we can help.
What is a Weapons Offense in Colorado?
There are many of types of weapons that are potentially illegal in the state, either by virtue of the nature of the weapon itself, or by the circumstances under which it is possessed or used. Here are some of the criminal laws regarding weapons in Colorado:
- Dangerous and Illegal Weapons (CRS 18-12-102). A “dangerous weapon” includes a silencer, sawed off shotgun or rifle, machine gun, or a ballistic knife. An “illegal weapon” includes a blackjack, brass knuckles, a switchblade, a gravity knife or a gas gun. Possession of a dangerous weapon is a class 5 felony. Possession of an illegal weapon is a class 1 misdemeanor.
- Defaced Firearms (CRS 18-12-103). It is a class 1 misdemeanor to possess a firearm, knowing that the manufacturer’s serial number has been removed or altered.
- Concealed Weapons (CRS 18-12-105). Carrying a concealed knife or firearm is a class 2 misdemeanor. Carrying or bringing a firearm or an explosive or similar device into any building housing the general assembly or where any legislative hearing or meeting is conducted, or where any member or employee of the general assembly is located, is likewise a class 2 misdemeanor.
- Carrying a Weapon on School Grounds (CRS 18-12-105.5). This is a class 6 felony. It applies to any deadly weapon possessed or carried onto the property of any school. This includes not only public schools, but also private schools, universities, vocational schools and seminaries. Exceptions include weapons that are unloaded and remain inside a vehicle on school property.
- Prohibited Use of Weapons (CRS 18-12-106). This is a class 2 misdemeanor. It includes knowingly aiming a gun at another person, recklessly or negligently discharging a firearm or shooting an arrow, or knowingly setting and leaving unattended a trip gun or similar device. It also includes knowingly aiming or swinging a nunchaku or throwing star at another person, or possessing such a weapon
- Possession of a Firearm While Under the Influence (CRS 18-12-106(1)(d). It is a class 2 misdemeanor to possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a “strict liability” offense. It is also no defense that you have a valid gun permit.
- Illegal Discharge of a Firearm (CRS 18-12-107.5). The reckless or negligent discharge of a firearm into any dwelling or building, or into an occupied motor vehicle, is a class 5 felony. It is not necessary that the bullet end up inside the building or the passenger compartment of a vehicle, or that an occupant was actually endangered, in order to commit this crime.
- Penalty for second offense (CRS 18-12-107). If you have a prior conviction for certain misdemeanor weapons offenses, a second conviction for the same offense within five years will be charged as a class 5 felony.
- Previous Offenders (CRS 18-12-107). Possession or use of a weapon by a person who has a prior felony conviction (or for attempt or conspiracy to commit a felony) is a class 6 felony. If the prior felony conviction was for burglary or arson, or if it involved force or the threat of force, possession or use of a weapon within 10 years is a class 5 felony.
- Juveniles (CRS 18-12-108.5). Possession of a handgun by a person under the age of 18 is a class 2 misdemeanor. For a second offense, it is a class 5 felony. There are exceptions, and those exceptions include juveniles who are at their own residence and possess the gun with their parents’ permission.
- Explosives (CRS 18-12-109). Illegal possession, use, manufacture, or giving or sending to another person, of an explosive or incendiary device is a class 4 felony. Where the device is a chemical, nuclear or biological weapon, it is a class 3 felony.
- Large Capacity Magazines (CRS 18-12-301). Possession, sale or transfer of a large capacity magazine is a class 2 misdemeanor. A second offense is a class 1 misdemeanor. Possession of a large capacity magazine while engaged in the commission of a violent crime or any felony, is a felony.
In addition to the statutes listed above, there are many other laws in Colorado restricting and relating to the possession, use and transfer of weapons. They include everything from concealed carry permits, to background checks, to the use of weapons such as stun guns. In additions, the statutes contain a host of exceptions and affirmative defenses that may provide a defense to a weapons charge.
Weapons Crimes Defense Attorney in Denver, CO
If you are facing a weapons charge, your best defense is to hire an experienced Denver gun crimes lawyer. The laws are complicated, but there are defenses that may apply. Take the time to contact Castañeda Law concerning your weapons charge.
Call (303) 386-7135 for a consultation