Call now

CRS 18-12-111

Colorado Unlawful Purchase of Firearms

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.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

2022 Winner - Best of the Springs
Right Law Group, PC BBB Business Review
Lawyer of the Year - American Institute of Legal Professionals
Colorado Bar Association
Top 40 The National Trial Lawyers
Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
AVVO 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense

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.

FAQ: Colorado Unlawful Purchase of Firearms


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.

Areas Served


El Paso County

Douglas County


Arapahoe County

  • Centennial
  • Englewood
  • Greenwood Village
  • Cherry Hills Village
  • Foxfield
  • Sheridan
  • Columbine Valley
  • Byers
  • Southglenn
  • Castlewood
  • Peoria

Pueblo County

Teller County

Fremont County

  • Coaldale
  • Cotopaxi
  • Hillside
  • Howard
  • Texas Creek
  • Wellsville