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Firearms Check Information

Background Checks for Firearms Purchases and other Transfers in Colorado

Will your next firearm require a background check? If the transfer is to take place in Colorado, then the answer is probably yes.

Purchasing of guns, handguns, shotguns rifles and other types of firearms will be handled differently with the signing of two new laws. Your record may affect your ability to obtain a gun in Colorado. House Bill 13-1228 and 13-1229, signed by the Governor on March 20th, 2013 brought new firearms ownership laws into effect for the state of Colorado. Bill 13-228 went into effect upon on July 1st 2013.

Transfers Between Private Parties

Amongst many other changes in the law, After July 1st 2013, a private seller in Colorado (or any other permanent transfer such as a gift) must conduct a background check of any private receiver. The party may not transfer the firearm unless approval has been obtained first. A private party also may not receive a firearm unless approval has been obtained. A transfer in violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

There are MANY exceptions to this statute, so please do not rely on this page as legal advice. Here are some examples of exceptions (all of these exceptions require the transferee to not be legally barred from possessing a firearm):

Temporary use while in the presence of the owner

Temporary use while hunting, fishing, trapping

Temporary use while at a range

A bona fide gift from one immediate family member to another

There are other exceptions and they are all fairly straightforward, however, under the new law, simply selling a gun to your friend is likely not going to fall under any exception.

Purchases from FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensee) in Colorado

Any person wishing to purchase from an FFL will also need to undergo a background check. Background checks for purchases at a dealer are not new, however, HB 13-1228 and 13-1229 add new requirements and re-assign certain duties of the State and the Courts under the law.

What is the Background check?

It is a background check pursuant to § 24-33.5-424 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, which requires the use of, according to the statute, NICS, or the “national instant criminal background check system” created by Public Law 103-159, known as the federal “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act”, the relevant portion of which is codified at 18 U.S.C. sec. 922(t)” This is a background check using Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) resources, some of which are not available to the public. Further, the background check is authorized to use other databases.

Getting my own background check?

In short, you cannot access (easily or legally) ALL of the information databases that are used in the approval process. Not all of the information is available outside of law enforcement use. However, depending on the circumstances we can help you access much (and in the majority of cases, all) of the information and tell you how this will affect your potential approval. We can help you obtain your FBI criminal background check and your Colorado background check. Public records are available for a small fee from CBI and may be able to get you started: Colorado Background Check from CBI.

Your firearms background check will include more databases, like the NICS, including those which only law enforcement has access to however, our firm offers services which can help guide you and help you determine whether or not you will pass the background check and be able to obtain approval based upon statutory standards. You may wish to obtain 50-state information from the FBI or from each individual state. Our firm can help search for your records as well.

What do I do if I am planning on buying a firearm but I am worried about my record?

Our firm can run a preliminary check to give you a good idea if you will pass the background check. It may depend on what type of firearm you are planning on purchasing. If you are planning on purchasing a readily available firearm, you may decide to attempt to purchase the firearm and then the background check will be conducted at that time. If you are searching for a rare firearm and you may need to know whether or not you will pass (because sometimes errors can be corrected), you may consider researching your background beforehand.


If you have been denied:

Our firm offers services to help you if you have been denied. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the FBI have processes by which errors can be corrected. Colorado has laws under which certain records can be sealed (see our main record sealing page). Many problems regarding background errors are discovered when someone attempts to purchase a firearm. Errors can be very often be corrected, especially if the record is inaccurate OR certain records can be sealed. There is also a procedure in which you can appeal a denial even if the denial is based upon accurate information.

Our firm offers a wide array of services to help you with your background and record. We can help you determine if you will be eligible to receive a firearm under the new CBI procedures. We can also help you conduct a background check if you are a private individual wishing to transfer a firearm to another private individual. We are knowledgeable about the procedures and the agencies involved. We will help to protect your rights and make sure that the red-tape doesn’t stand in the way of your constitutional rights.

Please call us at 303-459-7898

Eric Wessels
8001 Arista Pl. #400
Broomfield, CO 80021