September 28, 2023
Does it surprise you to learn that thousands of guns go missing in the state of Colorado every year? It’s true.
If you own a gun and lose it, you’re not required to report it to the police – at least not yet.
A woman who lost her daughter to a gunshot wound from a stolen gun is advocating for a new law. It would require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. This would enable law enforcement officials to search for missing weapons. Tracking may help them understand when a stolen weapon was used in the commission of a crime.
Here’s what you need to know about this new law, as well as current laws surrounding gun ownership in Colorado.
A New Colorado Bill
This new bill regarding lost or stolen guns has seen much debate in the state legislature. Some think that a legal requirement to report missing guns will help protect against dangerous situations. After all, stolen or lost weapons are already being used to commit crimes, so keeping tabs on them naturally bolsters community safety.
On the other side of the debate, a missing gun is already in the hands of someone who shouldn’t have it. Those in opposition think reporting won’t reduce potential violence. They argue that owners commonly report missing or stolen guns without a law.
Opponents also worry the law may turn victims of theft into criminals.
How does that leap happen? The bill would require gun owners to report a gun as missing or stolen – or face legal consequences. Those who don’t report a weapon missing within five days may be fined $25. If they fail to report another lost or stolen weapon, they may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500.
Current Gun Laws in Colorado
- Be a minimum of 21 years old
- Be a legal resident of the state
- Show they can competently handle a firearm
- Not have any convictions of perjury
- Not be subject to the restrictions of a protective order
- Have met federal requirements
A gun can be concealed in a vehicle, place of business, or home. When it is carried on a person, it must be in plain view.
You can obtain a permit for concealed carry through the Sheriff’s office in the county where you reside.
Currently, you are not required to register your gun with the state. It is up to you to have the proper and accurate records to show the model, make, and serial number of the weapon. It’s a good idea to have the bill of sale or receipt for your purchase of the weapon, too.
If your gun is lost or stolen, an attorney can advise you on situations that may be incriminating; for instance, if the gun wasn’t properly stored, or you owned a prohibited weapon. After consulting with an attorney, disclose the lost or stolen weapon to the police.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.