Tasers are one of the most interesting and spectacular self-defense tools: what can be easier then clicking and activation switch and dropping a foe in their tracks from several yards away, and doing it all without permanently injuring them?
It’s great capability to have, so no wonder police agencies around the world have turned to tasers, and increasingly many civilians too. Regrettably, these tools are not legal everywhere. What about Colorado? Are tasers legal in Colorado?
Tasers are completely legal for civilian possession in Colorado as long as you don’t have a felony record, or addicted to any drugs and are at least 18 years old. Note that many local laws concerning tasers differ from the state laws and there is no preemption.
Tasers are definitely on the table if you want to add one to your self-defense arsenal in the state of Colorado. Assuming you aren’t a minor, and that you don’t have a criminal record or an illicit drug problem, you can easily get your hands on one legally.
But you might run into issues with local laws being stricter than the state laws. There’s a lot more you’ll want to know before you commit to one of these expensive devices, so keep reading…
Caution: Colorado’s Municipal Taser Laws Vary Significantly!
I want you to keep one thing in mind as you read through the rest of this article: more than most other states, Colorado’s taser laws can vary significantly from place to place inside the state!
There is no state-level preemption, meaning that if the local laws and regulations on tasers are more restrictive than the state-level laws, they will stand!
For this reason, you must be diligent about researching all of the taser laws in all the places you visit, work and live in Colorado.
An exhaustive analysis is way beyond the scope of this article, but you’ll need to look into Boulder, Parker, Thornton, Lafayette, and Burlington particularly, though there are quite a few other cities and towns with their own taser laws.
Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse especially when it comes to weapons!
How are Tasers Classified in Colorado?
Tasers fall under the definition of a “stun gun” in Colorado, which is very simply defined as “any device capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge”. That’s a pretty broad definition, but an accurate one.
You can see this short definition for yourself in section 18-12-1001 of the Colorado Code, relevant part included below for your convenience.
18-12-101. Peace Officer Affirmative Defense – Definitions
a.”Adult” means any person eighteen years of age or older.
q. “Stun gun” means a device capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Colorado?
Yes, they are. Stun guns, just like tasers, fall under Colorado’s definition for “stun gun;” any device capable of temporarily immobilizing a person through an electrical charge.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly?
Yes, you can. It is completely legal to open carry a taser in Colorado assuming you can be in legal position of the device and that the device itself is also legal.
Just a reminder: keep in mind that your local municipal laws might not allow open carry of a taser, or they might specify open carry of a taser. You’ve got to check!
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Colorado?
Yes, you can, and you don’t have to have a concealed weapons permit to do so legally. Again, assuming you have legal possession of the taser you may carry it concealed anywhere you are legally, lawfully allowed to take it.
And once more, don’t forget to double-check those local laws because concealed carry of tasers might be forbidden!
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Colorado?
Yes. You have to be 18 years old or older to legally purchase, possess or carry a taser in Colorado. No exceptions for minors, even if they have their parents’ permission.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Colorado?
If you want to purchase a taser in Colorado you’ll need to simply find a retailer and then follow their instructions.
Generally, true stun guns are sold more freely compared to tasers throughout the country, and the purchase of a taser often entails a seller recording your personal information so it can be sent to the manufacturer or to the state, or both, and some even require you to run a background check.
But, assuming you have the cash, it’s easy to get a taser in Colorado, and you can have tasers purchased online or from out of state sent to you in Colorado.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership?
No. Colorado doesn’t specify any mandatory training, permitting or anything of the sort before you can g or carry a taser.
Now, I will always advocate that you get trained on any device or weapon you plan on carrying to protect yourself and your loved ones, both so you can be competent with it and also know what it is capable of.
Just because you don’t have to get trained doesn’t mean you shouldn’t!
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Colorado?
You can carry a taser pretty much anywhere in Colorado subject to state and local laws. Again, the variability of local laws makes a comprehensive analysis here too big to get into.
But, generally speaking, you cannot ever carry a taser into any government building at any level, so that means no federal, no state, no county and no city government installations, offices or buildings.
Likewise, you can never carry your taser into a school or onto the grounds of school, or onto any vehicle that is owned, leased, or operated by the school.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Colorado?
The only time you can use your taser against someone in self-defense, legally is when you’re in fear for your life or in fear of serious bodily injury.
Even though tasers are broadly categorized as non-lethal weapons, the reality is not quite true: tasers are properly classed as less lethal weapons, meaning not as likely to be lethal.
If you’re thinking things through, anytime you taze someone, there is a chance that you could gravely injure them, either from the direct effects of the device or from secondary effects, in this case meaning an uncontrolled plummet to the ground and potentially smacking your head on the pavement.
You must never use your taser against someone as a prank or joke, because you were angry with them or to win an argument or retaliation for an insult.
If you do that, you’ll be facing serious criminal charges. In fact, you’ll be facing a class 5 felony along with any other relevant charges!
In Colorado, this can entail 3 years in prison or even longer, and fines of up to $100,000. Taser use is no joke!
18-12-106.5. Use of Stun Guns
A person commits a class 5 felony if he knowingly and unlawfully uses a stun gun in the commission of a criminal offense.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.