Gun/Firearm Crimes Attorney in Boulder, Colorado
Many people are caught off guard by a gun or firearms charge. The fact is, many people do not realize they have broken any laws until they face charges, and firearm charges are serious, especially because they rarely come without additional charges. Charges can easily be from misdemeanors to felonies, from state to federal, all of which can have serious consequences.
That’s why you need determined advocacy if you’re facing a gun charge. At the Watkins Law Firm LLC in Boulder, Colorado, clients who have been charged with crimes receive the knowledgeable, attentive representation that they are entitled to. For more than 20 years, I have been helping Colorado defendants protect their rights and move toward a brighter future. As a criminal defense attorney, I proudly represent individuals throughout the state, including Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Broomfield, and the rest of Colorado.
Common Charges Involving Firearms in Colorado
Despite the Second Amendment giving Colorado citizens the right to own and possess firearms, this right is not absolute. There are laws and requirements for valid gun ownership, dictating how and where guns can be carried and used. Even valid gun owners can face criminal charges if they break one of the laws below:
Prohibited use of a firearm
Defacing a firearm or possession of a defaced firearm
The unlawful purchase of a firearm
Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon
Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
Illegal discharge of a firearm
Being charged with firearm crimes can have serious consequences. Penalties can be worse if there were charges added along with the firearm charges or if you already have a criminal record. Both felonies and misdemeanors can be filed, each with severe consequences.
What Constitutes a “Firearm?”
Under Colorado law, a “firearm” is any instrument or device intended to or capable of discharging explosive rounds, like bullets, cartridges, or shells.
These typically include:
Handguns, pistols, revolvers, or other firearms with a barrel more than 12” in length (not counting any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech)
Full-length rifles (long guns)
Antique firearms manufactured not later than 1898
Firearms are defined as curios or relics under U.S. law
Certain firearms and equipment, such as assault weapons, sawed-off shotguns, and armor-piercing ammunition is illegal to own even if you have a license.
Owning & Carrying a Gun in Colorado
Colorado allows both open and concealed carry of firearms, although concealed carry permits are approved only for handguns and never for long guns. Even with these rules in place, certain requirements need to be met to acquire a permit to carry a firearm:
You are a legal resident of the state of Colorado
You are aged 21 or older
You are not ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law
You have not been convicted of perjury on a permit application
You are not an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or controlled substances
You are not subject to a permanent or temporary protection order
You demonstrate competence with a handgun
Certain individuals are prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm in Colorado. Here is a list of persons prohibited from owning weapons:
Persons under the age of 21
Nonresidents of Colorado
People with an active protection order against them
You have been charged with a felony offense
You are a domestic abuser
You have a history of mental illness
If the purchase violates federal law
If the purchase violates Colorado law
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime
If you have been indicted
The state prohibits any of the above individuals from knowingly owning, using, or carrying a firearm.
Penalties for Illegal Use of Firearms
No matter what type of weapons crime you have been charged with, you may be facing severe penalties on both a state and federal level. Many firearm crimes are punishable by incarceration, fines, and license revocation. Additionally, the severity of punishment is enhanced for repeat offenses.
Below are some of the potential penalties for firearm crimes convictions:
Prohibited use of weapons (class 2 misdemeanor) - Up to a year in jail and between $250 and $1,000 in fines
Defacing a firearm (class 1 misdemeanor) - Up to 18 months in jail and between $500 and $5,000 in fines
Unlawful possession of a firearm (class 6 felony) - Up to two and half years in prison and between $1,000 and $100,000 in fines
Gun/Firearm Crimes Attorney
Serving Boulder, Colorado
If you’re facing firearms-related charges in Boulder, Colorado, you need an attorney who understands the complex state and federal regulations that impact your case. At Watkins Law Firm LLC, I have extensive experience handling a broad range of criminal offenses, including those involving firearms. If you or someone you know has been arrested for violating a Colorado state firearms law, contact me for a consultation right away.