Colorado Springs Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm Attorneys
Colorado weapons laws criminalize the transfer of firearms to those who are legally prohibited from having them. Violating this law can result in serious felony charges and lasting penalties.
Whether you need more information on Colorado gun laws and your rights—or you have been charged with the unlawful purchase of a firearm in Colorado, below shares some essential information for any gun-carrying Coloradan. To get more advice specific to your situation or a criminal weapons case, contact a criminal defense attorney at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. today.
What Are the Charges & Penalties for Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm in Colorado?
Those accused of purchasing or obtaining a firearm and transferring it to a prohibited individual can face Class 4 felony charges in Colorado. For these charges to be filed, the purchaser must have the intent to transfer the weapon to someone who they know (or should reasonably know) is not legally allowed to have it under state (or federal) law. Some of the individuals who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms in Colorado include:
- Fugitives and convicted felons
- Anyone convicted of domestic violence or any offense resulting in a 1-year prison term
- Those who are under a protective order that specifically restricts firearm possession
- Those who have been adjudicated to be “mentally defective” and/or have been committed to a mental health facility
- Anyone with a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. armed forces
- Non-immigrant visa holders and illegal aliens
- Drug addicts
Upon conviction, class 4 felony charges of unlawful purchase of a firearm in Colorado can be punishable by:
- 2 to 6 years in prison
- $2,000 to $500,000 in fines
- 3 years of mandatory parole
- Forfeiture of the firearms involved in the case
Can Gun Dealers Face Similar Charges?
While class 4 felony charges can be filed against anyone who illegally transfers a firearm to a prohibited individual, licensed gun dealers may also face a class 2 petty offense if they fail to post visible signage regarding this law. The penalties for this offense can be fines of up to $250.
What Are the Defense Options Against Charges of Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm?
Challenging charges of unlawful purchase of a firearm can involve various tactics, depending on:
- The specifics of a case: The evidence and allegations involved will impact the best strategies for countering the prosecution’s arguments. Some considerations the defense will have include whether there are witnesses and, if so, who they are and how credible they are; whether there is physical evidence and, if so, how it was collected and whether it should be reevaluated; and much more.
- Who is facing the charges: Is the accused individual is a private citizen or a licensed gun deal? Is (s)he is a legal adult or a minor? Is (s)he is a prohibited individual and/or on probation? These details are also critical to shaping a strategic defense case.
While specific defenses will vary based on these and other factors, here are some arguments that are generally effective against charges of unlawfully purchasing a firearm in Colorado:
- The individual to whom the firearm was transferred did not lose his or her gun rights: Misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to misunderstandings, clerical errors, and wrongful arrests. For example, someone previously prohibited to possess a gun may have had his or her gun rights restored via a pardon. A good attorney can determine where the discrepancy lies to help establish this defense.
- The accused did not know someone was prohibited from possessing a firearm: Deception or misinformation may have been used to convince the accused to transfer the firearm, without him or her knowing the recipient was not, in fact, legally allowed to possess it. In these cases, evidence like forgeries, surveillance camera footage, and receipts, may all be helpful in showing that someone believed the transfer of the firearm to be legal (and that there was no reason for him or her to think she was breaking the law).
- The rights of the accused were violated: These violations can result in evidence or statements made during an interrogation inadmissible if law enforcement violated the rights of the accused. These violations could include, for instance, failing to Mirandize the accused during an arrest, continuing an interrogation after the accused has asked for a lawyer, violating the terms of a search warrant, and more.
Remember, if you or a loved one has been accused of this or any weapons offense in Colorado Springs, it’s up to the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally committed the offense. A good criminal defense lawyer, like the attorneys at Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C., can be the key to creating reasonable doubt and making prosecutors’ jobs as tough as possible.
Colorado Springs Unlawful Firearm Purchase Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been charged with unlawful purchase of a firearm in Colorado, do not settle for a guilty plea without contacting our firearm defense attorneys in Colorado Springs. We are former prosecutors with decades of criminal trial experience. That makes us exceptionally effective at crafting strong, strategic defense cases for an array of weapons charges. Contact Anaya & Chadderdon, P.C. today to schedule a free case review.