Appealing the Denial of your Concealed Carry Permit Application in Colorado

Have you applied but been denied a concealed carry permit in Colorado?  Criteria for issuance of a Concealed Carry Permits is set forth in Colorado Revised Statues, §18-12-203.  This statute provides that a sheriff shall issue a permit to carry a concealed handgun to an applicant who:

  1. Is a legal resident of Colorado (or a member or family member of an individual in the US Armed Forces stationed in Colorado);
  2. Is twenty-one years of age or older;
  3. Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law or by having previously been convicted of having committed a felony;
  4. Has not been convicted of perjury in the Second Degree related to making a false statement on a concealed carry permit application;
  5. Does not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that the applicant's normal faculties are impaired;
  6. Is not an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance (which includes marijuana);
  7. Is not subject to a Protection Order issued in connection with a criminal case or juvenile delinquency case that is in effect at the time of the application is submitted or a permanent protection, temporary or emergency protection order that is in effect at the time of the application;
  8. Demonstrates competency with a handgun either based on participation in organized shooting competitions or current military service, or is a certified firearm's instructor, or was Honorably Discharged from the armed services within 3 years of the application, or was Honorably Discharged from the armed services that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within 10 years of the application, or possesses a certificate showing retirement from a Colorado law enforcement agency that reflects pistol qualifications within 10 years of the application, or possesses a training certificate from a handgun training class obtained within the ten years preceding submittal the application.

If you don’t meet the above criteria, the Sheriff MUST deny, revoke or refuse to renew a Concealed Carry Permit. 

However, many individuals meet each of the essential requirements but are still denied a Concealed Carry Permit due to discretionary criteria that permit the sheriff to deny an application based on a catch all provision that provides:

             “Regardless of whether an applicant meets the criteria (above), 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.”

             If your application is denied, you have the right to request a second review by the Sheriff’s office or you can appeal.  Even if you lose with the Sheriff on a second review you may still seek Judicial Review in court. C.R.S. § 18-12-207.  The procedure and time lines for filing a petition for judicial review are strict.  The appeal must be filed within 28 days. At the appeal, the burden or obligation to prove the justification for the denial is on the sheriff to prove by that justification by a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not) that the applicant or permittee is ineligible to possess a permit under the above criteria.  However, if the denial is based on the sheriff’s determination that the person would be a danger to self or others, the sheriff must prove that determination by “clear and convincing” evidence.  In addition, the statute allows for a successful applicant on appeal to be awarded attorney’s fees.  However, the Sheriff may also be awarded attorney’s fees if they win and you lose.

At the Law Offices of Malcolm B Seawell, PC we help individuals successfully apply for Concealed Carry Permits, help with second hearings before the sheriff and in perfecting and winning appeals of the denial of applications, renewals or revocations of Concealed Carry Permits.  If you need help obtaining, keeping or renewing your Concealed Carry Permit, reach out to Malcolm today.


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