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H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Understanding Colorado’s Domestic Violence Relinquishment Of Guns Law

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

Understanding Colorado's Domestic Violence Relinquishment Of Guns LawIf you have been charged with Domestic Violence in Colorado – most likely you will be required to divest possession of any guns and or ammunition you may have in your home or automobile.

On the restraining order form you will be required to sign in open court is the following paragraph:

6. (you) shall relinquish, for the duration of the order, any firearm or ammunition in your immediate possession or control, or subject to your immediate possession or control, and shall do so within ___(hours) (24 or up to 72) for firearms and within _____(24 hours or up to 5 days) for ammunition.

If you are in custody and cannot relinquish firearms and ammunition, the court orders you to do so within 24 hours of your release from custody. You shall file proof of relinquishment with the court, within 3 business days of the relinquishment as required by statute

Certifying The Removal Of Your Guns And Ammunition

Understanding the law regarding your gun rights and Colorado’s domestic violence law begins with the knowledge that the Judge will issue a protection order that prohibits the accused from possessing or controlling firearms or other weapons during the pendency of the case.

Weapons and ammunition in the accused immediate possession or control or subject to the person’s immediate possession or control must be relinquished within 24 hours.

If the accused has been served with a protection order outside of the court that person must relinquish any firearm or ammunition within 48 hours.

Finally, the court may allow a person up to 72 hours to comply if the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court that he or she is unable to comply within 24 or 48 hours, as applicable.

How To Comply With The Court’s Order To Surrender Weapons And/Or Ammunition

In order to satisfy the above Court Order, the accused may:

1. Sell or transfer possession of the firearm or ammunition to a federally licensed firearms dealer;

2. Arrange for the storage of the firearm or ammunition by a law enforcement agency; or

3. Sell or transfer the firearm or ammunition to a private party (except that the person shall not transfer a firearm or ammunition to a private party unless the private party has been approved to possess or purchase a firearm pursuant to a background check of the national instant criminal
background check system).

What If The Accused Is Incarcerated:

If the Defendant is unable to satisfy the requirement because he or she
is incarcerated and is being sentenced in another case (or otherwise held in the custody of a law enforcement agency), the Judge can, as a condition of the person’s sentence, shall require the person to relinquish any firearm or ammunition in the person’s immediate possession or control or subject to the person’s immediate possession or control before the person may be released from such incarceration or custody.

The Mandatory Protection Order – 18-1-1001

The mandatory protection order you will be served if you are charged in a  Colorado Domestic Violence case will look like this (click link):

JDF 440 MPO 18-1-1001

There is no form presently available from the Court to certify that weapons – ammunition has been removed – I recommend using language such as the following to accomplish the certification process:

□ I do not currently have any firearms in my custody, control, or possession and I have attached with this form proof of relinquishment(s) or removal(s) showing that all firearms and/or ammunition previously in my custody, control, or possession, were relinquished or removed by a law enforcement agency, or sold or transferred in accordance with the Court’s Order in this matter.

More specifically;

□ I have sold or transferred possession of the firearm(s) or ammunition previously in my possession to a federally licensed firearms dealer and I have attached with this form proof of relinquishment(s) or removal(s) showing that all firearms and/or ammunition previously in my custody, control, or possession, were relinquished or removed by a law enforcement agency, or sold or transferred in accordance with the Court’s Order in this matter.

□ I have arranged for the storage of the firearm(s) in question and/or ammunition by a law enforcement agency;

□ I have sold or transferred the firearm or ammunition to a private party; (and I am aware that that that private party shall not allowed to transfer the firearm(s) or ammunition to a private party unless the private party has been approved to possess or purchase a firearm pursuant to a background check of the national instant criminal background check system) and I have attached with this form a proof of relinquishment(s) or removal(s) showing that all firearms and/or ammunition previously in my custody, control, or possession, were relinquished or removed by a law enforcement agency, or sold or transferred in accordance with the Court’s Order in this matter.

□ I understand that I must refrain from the future possession or purchase of any firearm and/or ammunition for the duration of the Court’s Order, and as noted above, I have relinquished any firearm or ammunition in my immediate possession or control or subject to my immediate possession or control.

Best of luck.. HMS