Call now

Colorado Unlawful Purchase of Firearms

Colorado Springs Unlawful Purchase of Firearms Lawyer

Google Reviews

Colorado Revised Statutes 18-12-111 makes it a criminal offense to purchase or obtain a firearm for a person barred from possessing one. Unlawful purchase of firearms is a Class 4 felony, carrying a fine of up to $500,000 and/or two to six years in jail.

Penalties for Unlawful Purchase of Firearms

Charge Classification Penalty
Unlawful Purchase of Firearms Class 4 felony
  • Two to six years in prison  (with a mandatory three-year parole period) and/or
  • $2,000 to $500,000 in fines
(Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-12-111)

Possible Defenses for Unlawful Purchase of Firearms

To convict you of a crime, the prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable of a doubt.

To do this, they must prove the following elements:

  • You bought or obtained a gun for the purposes of transfer to another person
  • You knew (or reasonably should have known) that person cannot possess guns under Colorado or federal law

A Colorado criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get your charges dismissed or reduced by raising the following defenses.

Ignorance of the Person’s Ineligibility

Your Colorado criminal defense attorney can argue that a charge under CRS 18-12-111 be dropped if the defendant thought the person for whom the weapon was obtained had a legal right to bear arms.

The Receiver Had Gun Possession Rights

It may be that the person to whom the firearm was transferred did not lose their right to bear arms. A pardon or sealing of records may have allowed someone who had been once forbidden from owning a gun to regain those privileges. To help establish this defense, a competent attorney can identify the source of the disparity.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-12-111:

“(1) Any person who knowingly purchases or otherwise obtains a firearm on behalf of or for transfer to a person who the transferor knows or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal or state law commits a class 4 felony.”

Have You Been Charged or Arrested for Unlawful Purchase of Firearms?

Don’t enter a guilty plea before speaking with our criminal defense attorneys in Colorado if you or a loved one has been accused of illegally purchasing a firearm. We’ll thoroughly review your case and recommend the next stages in your defense.

Our attorneys at Right Law Group have a wealth of experience in criminal defense. We are skilled in navigating the complex legal system and presenting the best possible evidence to a judge or jury. If you are in or around  Colorado Springs, please call our offices for a free consultation.


Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

Call today for a free case evaluation.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or

    Arrest or

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of

    Advisement of

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /

    Pretrial Conference /

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment


    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness

    Pretrial Readiness

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing


    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there penalties for selling firearms to an unauthorized person in Colorado?

Licensed gun dealers who neglect to display a notice outlining the provisions of CRS 18-12-111 may be charged with a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100. Under federal law 18 USC 922(d), it is unlawful to sell or provide a weapon to someone who is not authorized to own a firearm or ammunition.

Why would a person be prohibited from owning a weapon in Colorado?

A person may not be permitted to own a weapon for several reasons, such as:

  • Being found guilty of domestic abuse
  • Having a felony offense conviction
  • Being sentenced to more than a year in jail after being found guilty of a crime
  • Attempting to commit a felony crime

What is "straw purchasing" in Colorado?

It is against state and federal law for someone to use their information on weapon papers to buy a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to own one. This practice, known as straw purchasing, is forbidden since it avoids the background check procedure a person is required to go through when acquiring a firearm.