Open Carry in Colorado

Open Carry in Colorado

This is a discussion on Open Carry in Colorado within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The law is rather vague. It's not specifically addressed, more permitted. So my question is: what are your personal standards when open carrying? Percentage visible? ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array TheGreatDane's Avatar
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    Question Open Carry in Colorado

    The law is rather vague. It's not specifically addressed, more permitted.

    So my question is: what are your personal standards when open carrying? Percentage visible? Parts visible (end of slide, grip)?

    A LEO here in Colorado Springs told me it must be visible from 270 degrees, but did not specify how much of the weapon/holster.

    Anyone have an opinion?


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    IIRC the law in VA is 'if it is recognizable as a firearm'. I like that definition. This allows IWB, for instance, as long as a reasonable person would recognize that it is a firearm.
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    Member Array rueljr's Avatar
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    Open carry is just that - Open carry. The weapon cannot be covered and must be plainly visible. No shirts, jackets vest, etc, covering any portion of the weapon. It's legal to open carry throughout Colorado except for inside Denver city limits. You will be stop and questioned in many metro suburbs (Aurora in particular), but you are legal.

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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatDane View Post
    The law is rather vague. It's not specifically addressed, more permitted.

    So my question is: what are your personal standards when open carrying? Percentage visible? Parts visible (end of slide, grip)?

    A LEO here in Colorado Springs told me it must be visible from 270 degrees, but did not specify how much of the weapon/holster.

    Anyone have an opinion?
    The OC law is not just vague; there is nothing in state law prohibiting or permitting open carry (although, as rueljr wrote, Denver is unique within Colorado in having a local prohibition against open carry).

    Since there's no law permitting open carry and therefore no law defining exactly what "open carry" is, your LEO is just blowing smoke with the 270 degrees.

    Look at the other side. Colorado has a law prohibiting concealed carry without a recognized permit, but again does not define "concealed". In the absence of legal definitions, we must rely on the dictionary.

    The best we can do for a definition of open carry of a firearm, then, is to say it means any firearm not concealed (as "concealed" is defined in a dictionary).

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    "concealed". In the absence of legal definitions, we must rely on the dictionary.
    Sorry, I don't think it works that way. In the absence of a legal definition
    one should rely on past court rulings, not the dictionary. What dictionary? Who's definition?

  6. #6
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Sorry, I don't think it works that way. In the absence of a legal definition
    one should rely on past court rulings, not the dictionary. What dictionary? Who's definition?
    What court rulings?

    Here in VA (I know not Colorado) they actually do have a legal definition, it makes zero sense but it's there.

    I'll poke back around in the CO laws and see what's there and what's not.

    As for case law, there's a really good thread on that here: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...e-caselaw.html

  7. #7
    JD
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    CO Definitions

    As used in this part 2, unless the context otherwise requires:

    (1) "Bureau" means the Colorado bureau of investigation within the department of public safety.

    (2) "Certified instructor" means an instructor for a firearms safety course who is certified as a firearms instructor by:

    (a) A county, municipal, state, or federal law enforcement agency;

    (b) The peace officer standards and training board created in section 24-31-302, C.R.S.;

    (c) A federal military agency; or

    (d) A national nonprofit organization that certifies firearms instructors, operates national firearms competitions, and provides training, including courses in personal protection, in small arms safety, use, and marksmanship.

    (3) "Chronically and habitually uses alcoholic beverages to the extent that the applicant's normal faculties are impaired" means:

    (a) The applicant has at any time been committed as an alcoholic pursuant to section 25-1-310 or 25-1-311, C.R.S.; or

    (b) Within the ten-year period immediately preceding the date on which the permit application is submitted, the applicant:

    (I) Has been committed as an alcoholic pursuant to section 25-1-308 or 25-1-309, C.R.S.; or

    (II) Has had two or more alcohol-related convictions under section 42-4-1301 (1) or (2), C.R.S., or a law of another state that has similar elements, or revocations related to misdemeanor, alcohol-related convictions under section 42-2-126, C.R.S., or a law of another state that has similar elements.

    (4) "Handgun" means a handgun as defined in section 18-12-101 (1) (e.5); except that the term does not include a machine gun as defined in section 18-12-101 (1) (g).

    (5) "Handgun training class" means:

    (a) A law enforcement training firearms safety course;

    (b) A firearms safety course offered by a law enforcement agency, an institution of higher education, or a public or private institution or organization or firearms training school, that is open to the general public and is taught by a certified instructor; or

    (c) A firearms safety course or class that is offered and taught by a certified instructor.

    (6) "Permit" means a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued pursuant to the provisions of this part 2; except that "permit" does not include a temporary emergency permit issued pursuant to section 18-12-209.

    (7) "Sheriff" means the sheriff of a county, or his or her designee, or the official who has the duties of a sheriff in a city and county, or his or her designee.

    (8) "Training certificate" means a certificate, affidavit, or other document issued by the instructor, school, club, or organization that conducts a handgun training class that evidences an applicant's successful completion of the class requirements.

    Source: L. 2003: Entire part added, p. 636, 1, effective May 17.
    Well, Anubis is right on that part.

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    JD
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    Not exactly what I was looking for but here's this tidbit

    Colorado Bureau of Investigation
    Question of whether weapon is concealed is question of fact for the jury which should not be summarily determined by the trial judge at the time that he rules on the defendant's motion to suppress. People v. Vincent, 628 P.2d 107 (Colo. 1981).

  9. #9
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    Thank you. I have read the CO firearms laws a zillion times.

    Guns and more, I thought your questions were implied in my post.

    (Say, I don't see the icons for quoting multiple posts in this forum.)
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    Senior Member Array KenInColo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anubis View Post
    ... Colorado has a law prohibiting concealed carry without a recognized permit, but again does not define "concealed". In the absence of legal definitions, we must rely on the dictionary...
    Correct; there is no definition of "Concealed" in Colo. What they do is charge the individual with illegally carrying concealed and then let the jury decide.
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    An unarmed populace are called subjects.

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    Senior Member Array Sig229's Avatar
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    I have often open carried in both rural areas and town in Weld Country and Larmier County Colorado.

    I never had a problem.
    (Just wanted to add my experience)
    Primary Carry Gun: Sig Sauer 229~R (.40cal w/ Golden Saber JHP's)

  12. #12
    Member Array Ropedartman's Avatar
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    I agree, the laws are vague. I have spoken to LEO's regarding open carry and have gotten different answers.

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    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    I live in C.S. also. I have not seen anyone open carrying around town in the 8 years I lived here, only in the National Forest. It is LEGEAL in the state of Colorado. I don't do it because I don't want to deal with the "man with a gun" call. I don't believe it is worth the hassle because this town has a lot of anal retentive people that would call the cops or act stupid about it in a heart beat.

    Were you here when a guy took a broken down shot gun to a city council meeting a few years ago? For those that don't know, he did it because he could. There were also extra police who sat in too.They didn't want to let him in but then realized he was within the law and had too. The city and county then banned open carry in city and county buildings. You can still CC unless there are electronic screening devices as the law states.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    In the absence of a legal definition one should rely on past court rulings...
    If there were a definition constructed in a court case, that would be a legal definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by KenInColo View Post
    What they do is charge the individual with illegally carrying concealed and then let the jury decide.
    Sounds logical, if you can cite such a case which transpired in CO, preferably after the "shall-issue" legislation in 2003.

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    You know, I'm not sure that there is a standard here in Tennessee.

    When I open carry, which is a majority of the time, I don't cover the gun at all. It is right there on my right hip, in the Blackhawk SERPA. There is no way anyone pulling their head out long enough to actually notice it (and that rarely happens at all) would mistake it as anything other than a gun.

    I find it interesting that some states dictate how much of the gun must be visible if you are open carrying.
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