Carrying and Use of Firearms

Open and Concealed Carry of Firearms

What is “open carry” of firearms?

Open carry  is defined as the act of publicly carrying a firearm in plain sight. The definition of ‘plain sight’ varies somewhat from state-to-state, but can be broadly defined as simply not being hidden from common observation.

Local governments may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area within the local government's jurisdiction. If a local government enacts an ordinance, regulation, or other law that prohibits the open carrying of a firearm in a building or specific area, the local government shall post signs at the public entrances to the building or specific area informing persons that the open carrying of firearms is prohibited in the building or specific area

Can I carry a firearm openly in Arvada?

Yes, but there are restrictions.

Arvada has passed an ordinance against carrying firearms in public buildings. Those public buildings and locations prohibiting firearms are clearly posted as required by Colorado Revised Statues (CRS) 29-11.7-104, and in Arvada Municipal Code 62-71.

What is a concealed carry permit?

If you are a resident of Colorado, or on active military duty stationed in Colorado, you may apply for a concealed handgun permit from your local Sheriff. If granted by the Sheriff, the permit authorizes individuals meeting the statutory requirements established by law to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the State with some exceptions.

Who issues permits?   

The County Sheriff is responsible for this per State law. Arvada is located in two separate counties. If your residence is EAST of Sheridan Boulevard you reside in the Adams County and if you reside WEST of Sheridan Boulevard you are in Jefferson County.

Can a sheriff issue a permit to me, even if I don’t live in the area they cover?

No, you must be a resident of their county for them to issue a permit.

How do I apply for a permit?   

Some Sheriff’s Offices have their applications available online or you may pick up an application at your local Sheriff’s Office.

Can I carry a handgun concealed without a permit in Colorado?

No, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor if caught, and you could forfeit the weapon. If carried concealed on school property it becomes a Class 6 felony. CRS 18-12-105 and CRS 18-12-105.5.

Where can I NOT carry a handgun with a valid Colorado concealed carry permit?

Individuals with a valid Colorado concealed carry permit are authorized by Colorado Law to carry a concealed handgun anywhere in the State with the exception of:

  • Places where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law; property of a public elementary, middle, junior high, or high school;
  • Public buildings which security personnel and electronic weapons screening devices are permanently in place at each entrance to the building to electronically screen each person who enters the building to determine whether the person is carrying a weapon of any kind; and security personnel require each person who is carrying a weapon of any kind to leave the weapon in possession of security personnel while the person is in the building.
  • Public buildings where local government has passed a law prohibiting weapons in the building and posted the entrances to that effect. CRS 18-12-214.

If I am carrying a legal concealed handgun and have to go on school grounds, what do I do?

Leave the firearm locked securely in a container in the vehicle. Colorado law allows the handgun on the real property of the public school so long as the handgun remains in your vehicle, you do not remain in the vehicle and, the handgun is in a compartment within the vehicle and the vehicle is locked. CRS 18-12-214(3)(a)

If I have a concealed carry permit, can I carry on college school grounds?  

Yes, with conditions, and as long as it is a public college. However, the Attorney General’s opinion is that the Regents to the University of Colorado are a constitutional office and have powers to govern that university; they may ban concealed carry on their campuses.  As of the writing of this document, all of Colorado University (CU)'s campuses have a ban on concealed carry. CRS 18-12-105.5.

If I have a permit to carry concealed, can I carry in the City of Denver? 

Yes. Colorado Law authorizes the concealed carry of a handgun in all areas of the state (see exceptions above) and does not allow for a local government to adopt or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would conflict with any provision of the law. CRS 18-12-214(1)(a)

Can I have a handgun in my vehicle?

Colorado Law allows a person to carry a handgun in a vehicle, loaded or unloaded, if its use is for lawful protection of that or another person or a person's property while traveling. It may be carried in open view or kept in a compartment normally used to carry items in a car, such as a glove box. It is unlawful to conceal a weapon on or about your person. (38 Colo. App. 346, 556 P.2d 491 (1976)). CRS 18-12-105(2)(b)

Arvada Municipal Code Section 62-71

Open carry of firearms prohibited.

(a)   Definitions: In this subsection:

(1)   Firearm  means any handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable of or intended to be capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive devices. 

(2)   Public building  means any structure, facility, site, or area that is owned, operated, or leased by the city. 

(3)   Specific area  means: 

a.   All recreational facilities and sports complexes located within the city and owned, operated, or leased by either the city or the North Jeffco Park and Recreation District including, but not limited to, swimming pools, tennis courts, ice rinks, skate parks, basketball courts, pedestrian and bicycle paths, green belts, golf courses, picnic facilities, lawns, gardens, parks, trails, or open space; or

b.   Arvada/Blunn reservoir, including the lake, dam, spillways, appurtenances, and city-owned lands surrounding the reservoir.

(b)   All firearms must be carried in such a manner so as to be completely concealed from the view of another. Any firearm carried in such a manner as to be visible in whole or in part and for any length of time to another shall be deemed to be open or openly carried.

(c)   It shall be unlawful for any person to open or openly carry any firearm in or upon any public building or specific area within the city.

(d)   Nothing in this section 62-71 shall be construed to allow the carrying of any firearm except in accordance with state and federal law.

(e)   Nothing in this section 62-71 shall be construed to forbid any peace officer or other city employee duly authorized to carry a firearm or firearms from carrying or wearing such firearms as may be necessary in the proper discharge of his duties. Nothing in this section 62-71 shall be construed to forbid the employee of any armored car service agency providing money transport services pursuant to a contractual arrangement with the city or the North Jeffco Park and Recreation District from carrying or wearing such firearms as may be necessary in the proper discharge of his duties, so long as the employee has been duly authorized by his employer to carry a firearm or firearms and he is acting within the course of his employment at the time the firearm or firearms are being carried or worn.

(f)   Possession of a valid concealed carry permit shall not constitute a defense to a charge of openly carrying a firearm where prohibited.

(g)   Any person violating subsection (c) of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine, or imprisoned, or both, not to exceed the limits established in section 1-5 of this Code.  (Ord. No. 3812, § 1, 6-16-03)