Colorado Stun Gun Laws
Stun guns, also known as tasers, can be legally owned and used in Colorado, as long as they are for the purposes of self-defense. When, however, stun guns are allegedly used in the commission of a crime, serious felony charges can be filed. And those charges can come into play regardless of whether the stun gun was fired.
If you have, want to purchase, or ever intend to use a stun gun in Colorado—or if you’ve already been accused of a taser offense— here is the most important information to know. For additional information related to your situation and/or a specific case, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. today.
More About Colorado Stun Gun Laws
Not classified as firearms in Colorado, stun guns are defined as any device that uses electrical charges to incapacitate an individual. This can include (and is not limited to) compact and portable stun guns, electric shock prods, stun belts, tasers, and long-range shock weapons.
Stun gun laws in Colorado apply to these and other types of tasers. The following answers some common questions about these laws.
Is It Illegal for Minors to Possess Stun Guns in Colorado?
Yes. Minors, meaning individuals younger than 18, are not legally permitted to buy or possess stun guns, per Colorado law.
Who Is Prohibited from Possessing & Using Stun Guns in Colorado?
According to Colorado stun gun laws, those 18 and over can buy, sell, own, and use tasers for self-defense purposes only, as long as they are not:
- Convicted felons
- Drug addicts
- Illegal aliens
- Intending to use the stun gun as a toy or weapon
Do I Need a License or Permit to Legally Buy, Own, or Use a Taser in Colorado?
No, for those who are not specifically prohibited from possessing stun guns, there is no requirement to obtain or show a permit or license in order to have or use a taser (for self-defense purposes). Similarly, Colorado stun gun laws do not require background checks or permits for concealed carry.
The only requirement is to demonstrate that they are 18 or older (when they are buying the taser or when they are stopped by police and they have a stun gun in their possession).
What Happens When Local Regulations Conflict with Colorado Stun Gun Laws?
Colorado law preempts local regulations whenever there’s a conflict—that includes for stun gun laws. Some of the various areas of Colorado where stun gun ordinances may differ from state laws include (and are not limited to):
- Larimer County
It’s strongly advised that you check local ordinances if you plan on buying, selling, or possessing a stun gun for self-defense purposes.
What Charges Are Filed for Violating Colorado Stun Gun Laws?
Class 5 felony charges are typically filed for stun gun offenses in Colorado. These charges can be punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison and/or fines of $1,000 to $100,000. Subsequent parole terms can be about two years.
Here, it’s crucial to be aware that other charges and penalties can apply. If, for instance, the conviction involves another criminal offense, like a robbery or an assault:
- Those offenses could be elevated to aggravated felony charges.
- Several more years in prison, with additional fines, may be added to the sentence.
Given the fact that stun gun charges are only brought when a criminal offense has been involved, these charges are commonly accompanied by other, more serious felony charges.
What Defense Arguments Work in Stun Gun Offense Cases?
As with any weapons or criminal case, the best ways to defend against the charges hinge on the details and evidence of the case. While that means that specific defense tactics and arguments can (and do) vary from case to case, there are some common themes in these tactics. These can include (and are not limited to):
- Showing the stun gun was intended or used for self-defense: Evidence of another individual’s aggression or a perceived threat can help establish arguments that a stun gun was used in an act of self-defense.
- Demonstrating procedural errors: When police do not follow proper procedures when investigating a case, making an arrest, questioning suspects, and more, there can be room to argue that certain aspects of the case be inadmissible.
- Finding ways to get evidence dismissed: Evidence that is illegally obtained, for instance, can be inadmissible. This can include anything that was discovered as part of an illegal search and seizure, which is a violation of an accused individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.
- Looking for other ways to weaken the prosecution’s case: Witnesses, experts, cellphone recordings, and other evidence can be used to dispute the prosecutor’s claims and/or help create more reasonable doubt about the charges.
Colorado Springs Stun Gun Charges Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been accused of a stun gun offense or another weapons charge in Colorado, contact the Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. As former prosecutors with decades of criminal trial experience, we are highly effective at anticipating the prosecution’s tactics to craft strong, strategic defense cases for all types of weapons cases.