Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Colorado permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry permit, what their permits/permits are called, whether permits include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, permit duration, permit costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Colorado is a shall-issue state where concealed carry permits are issued to county residents by local sheriff’s offices. This means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.

Open carry is legal in Colorado for any person who is at least 18 years old and who can legally possess a firearm, except in Denver County and other posted areas. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Colorado CCW and non-residents with a CCW permit from a state that Colorado honors. CCW permits can be issued to any resident at least 21 years old and not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. A state-approved firearms training course is required in order to obtain a CCW.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry permit/permit as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the Permit Requirements in Colorado?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a legal resident of Colorado
  • Not have been convicted of perjury
  • Not chronically and habitually use alcoholic beverages
  • Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance
  • Not be subject to a protection order
  • Demonstrate competence with a handgun
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in Colorado?

Applicants for a Colorado permit to carry a concealed handgun must demonstrate competence with a handgun by submitting evidence of completion of one of the following:

  • A training certificate from a handgun training class obtained within the 10 years preceding submittal of the application
  • 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 U.S. Armed Forces within 3 years or that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the 10 years preceding submittal of the application
  • A certificate showing retirement from a Colorado law enforcement agency that reflects pistol qualifications obtained within the 10 years preceding submittal of the application

The training cannot be through an online course but must be attended in person at a physical location with a certified instructor.

How Do I Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Colorado?

Step 1: Complete a firearms training course if required.

Step 2: Download the application or pick up from your local sheriff’s office.

Step 3: Take your completed, unsigned application to your local sheriff’s office. You will need the following documents:

    • Training certificate
    • Drivers license or state ID
    • Passport-style photo taken within the last 30 days
    • Proof of residency

You will be fingerprinted.

Step 4: You will be notified if your application has been approved.

For more information, visit the USCCA Colorado gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.