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Gov. Jared Polis signed into law eight bills passed by the legislature this year that tighten Colorado’s gun statutes.

Colorado Ceasefire, a nonprofit that calls for tougher gun regulations, says that’s a legislative-session record for the state.

The laws impose new requirements on people obtaining concealed carry permits, the way firearms must be stored in vehicles and how weapons and ammunition are sold.

Here’s what the new laws do and when they go into effect:

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State investigations of gun crimes

Senate Bill 3 authorizes the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to probe gun crimes, including illegal firearms purchases. It also sends $1.5 million to the agency for that work, money that will be spent hiring 10 employees next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

An ornate building with desks covering a green carpet. A chandelier hangs in the middle.
The House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Guns banned in schools, voting sites and the state Capitol

The Colorado Capitol, courthouses, child care facilities, K-12 schools, colleges and polling locations have been added to the list of places where the open or concealed carry of a firearm is prohibited under Senate Bill 131.

The legislation has exemptions for law enforcement offices, security personnel and on-duty members of the military. State lawmakers at the Capitol are not exempt starting on Jan. 4, 2025.

People caught carrying a gun in a place where it is prohibited face a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

As introduced, the measure would have applied to even more places, including bars, sporting events and amusement parks.

Surrender by people subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order

A rare example of a bipartisan bill tightening Colorado’s gun regulations, House Bill 1122 requires people who are subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order to relinquish their guns and ammunition and prevents them from purchasing more firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect.

The law also requires the restraining order to include notice of the relinquishment requirement and the purchase prohibition

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New requirements for concealed carry permits

Starting July 1, 2025, the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit will change.

House Bill 1174 mandates that training classes to qualify for a concealed carry permit offer at least eight hours of instruction, including a live-fire test where participants shoot at least 50 rounds. Passing the live-fire test, as well as a written exam, will also be mandatory to get a concealed carry permit.

Merchant category codes

By May 2025, credit card companies will have to assign specific merchant codes to firearms and ammunition dealers under Senate Bill 66.

The legislation is aimed at making it easier to track gun purchases. The attorney general will have the power to levy a $10,000 fine for each violation of the new law.

In this 2014 file photo, guns are displayed for sale at Dragonman's, an arms seller east of Colorado Springs. (Brennan Linsley, AP Photo, File)

Voters will decide on new excise tax for firearm purchases

Under House Bill 1349, Colorado voters will be asked in November to impose a 6.5% excise tax on firearms, gun parts and ammunition sold in the state beginning April 1, 2025.

The revenue — expected to be up to $39 million annually — would go to crime victims, schools and behavioral health programs.

The federal government imposes an 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition. Nonpartisan legislative staff say California is currently the only state that imposes an excise tax on guns and ammunition.

Permitting for gun sellers

Firearms dealers in Colorado will be required by July 1, 2025, to obtain a state permit that costs $400 and be subject to random and regular inspections under House Bill 1353.

The law will also require employee background checks and training to identify people trying to illegally purchase guns. Employees will have to report anyone who tries to unlawfully purchase a gun to law enforcement within 48 hours. Finally, the measure will require gun stores to lock up their firearms.

A dealer whose permit is revoked must wait three years before reapplying for a permit.

Safe storage in vehicles

Starting in 2025, a gun will have to be in a locked, hard-sided container out of view — such as a glove box or center console — when kept in a vehicle under House Bill 1348.

The bill will also require the vehicle to be locked. Violators will face a fine, though there are exceptions for people who work on farms and ranches or in the military or law enforcement.

The penalty for violating the law will be a civil infraction that carries a fine.

The measure also requires gun dealers to post a sign notifying customers of the new law.


The gun bills that didn’t pass

Stolen weapons

A measure that would have increased the penalties for stealing a gun valued at less than $1,000 was rejected in its first committee hearing in the House.

House Bill 1162 would have made it a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail, to steal a firearm valued at less than $1,000.

The penalty for stealing a firearm in Colorado currently depends on how valuable the weapon is. Stealing a gun that’s worth less than $300 is a petty offense, punishable by up to 10 days in jail. Gun theft becomes a felony, and carries the possibility of prison, only when the weapon stolen is worth more than $2,000.

An assault rifle is displayed on top of a green cushioned surface, with multiple firearms on racks and shelves in the background.
An AR-15 style rifle is displayed at the Firing-Line indoor range and gun shop during the summer of 2012 in Aurora. (Alex Brandon, AP Photo, file)

So-called assault weapons

For the second year in a row, a bill that would have banned the purchase, sale and transfer of a broad swath of semiautomatic firearms, defined in the measure as assault weapons, failed in the Colorado legislature.

House Bill 1292 was killed in its first Senate committee at the request of one of its Senate sponsors, who said “more conversations need to take place.”

Firearm liability insurance

Coloradans who own a firearm would have been required to have homeowners, renters or other liability insurance starting in 2025 under House Bill 1270, which died on the calendar in the Senate. (That means the legislature adjourned before it could get enough hearings and votes to pass.)

Gun owners would have been able to petition a judge for an exemption in certain situations, including after being denied coverage by at least two insurance carriers. The bill would also have required insurers to make firearms coverage available as part of liability coverage for homeowners and renters policies, though they could offer discounts for people who own a gun safe or other secure firearm container.

Violators would have faced fines.

Type of Story: Explainer

Provides context or background, definition and detail on a specific topic.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at Hablame24, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage. A...