This is meant to be a quick reference guide for citizens who are trying to understand how the application process works for obtaining a Colorado CCW Permit.
Who Can Apply?
You must be a resident. (For purposes of this part 2, a person who is a member of the armed forces and is stationed pursuant to permanent duty station orders at a military installation in this state, and a member of the person's immediate family living in Colorado, shall be deemed to be a legal resident of the state of Colorado).
You must be 21 or older
You must pass the federal and state background check (More detail available in State Statute 18-12-203)
What Do I Have to Do to Qualify?
You must “Demonstrate competence with a handgun” by submitting one of the following:
- Evidence of experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service;
- Evidence that, at the time the application is submitted, the applicant is a certified instructor;
- Proof of honorable discharge from a branch of the United States armed forces within the three years preceding submittal of the application;
- Proof of honorable discharge from a branch of the United States armed forces that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application;
- A certificate showing retirement from a Colorado law enforcement agency that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application; or
- A training certificate from a handgun training class obtained within the ten years preceding submittal of the application. The applicant shall submit the original training certificate or a photocopy thereof that includes the original signature of the class instructor. In obtaining a training certificate from a handgun training class, the applicant shall have discretion in selecting which handgun training class to complete.
Since most citizens aren't former or active military or law enforcement, traditionally most people attend a training class such as those that our company teaches. In that type of class we give students a training certificate as mentioned above.
Why Do Classes Vary So Much In Terms of Time and Content?
Because the law only requires that you take a “handgun training class” from a certified instructor, it is left up to each instructor to determine what content they want to include in their classes. Some instructors may include range time that involves hands on training and use of firearms. You should seek out a class that best fits your needs in terms of continuing/beginning your firearm education.
Can the Sheriff Deny My Application If I Meet the Requirements?
Technically yes. If the sheriff feels that you still may present a danger to others with a concealed weapon, then he/she may deny your application. The legal verbiage (18-12-203) is as follows:
“Regardless of whether an applicant meets the criteria specified in subsection (1) of this section, if the sheriff has a reasonable belief that documented previous behavior by the applicant makes it likely the applicant will present a danger to self or others if the applicant receives a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the sheriff may deny the permit.”
So After I Take the Class What do I Do?
After you have a training certificate in hand you need to apply at your local sheriff office. Before you go down to the office we suggest calling them on the phone. A directory and map of all the local sheriff offices can be found here. Over the phone ask the following questions:
- When do they accept applications?
- What methods of payment do they accept?
- What else, in addition to your training certificate and photo ID, do you need to bring?
Each county varies in application cost and in some of the processes and procedures. Ask your county what you can expect. Colorado statute does require that your application be processed in no more than 90 days and requires that counties may not charge any more than $152 for the complete application fee.