Weapons Crimes

Few issues are as highly charged as those involving gun rights and the use of guns in a legal or illegal manner. Gun debates have been the subject of fundamental constitutional right discussions, as well as the those involving personal security and privacy. Just as the issues surrounding guns are complex and constantly changing, so too are the laws and penalties related to the use of guns to commit weapons crimes.

Weapons are often used in the commission of other crimes, and as a result, many times gun crime convictions carry mandatory prison time or aggravate other charges a person may be facing.

For these reasons, if you are charged with a weapons crime, you do not have the luxury of hiring an inexperienced attorney to represent you. The stakes are too high. It is critical to have an attorney who has handled gun crimes in the past and who remains current on the changing guns and weapons laws. You also need an attorney who will challenge unlawful police behavior and tenaciously pursue all your legal defenses.

At Decker and Jones, we have the experience, knowledge and tenacity you need to aggressive fight weapons charges filed against you. When it comes to weapons offenses, we are street smart and courtroom accomplished. Contact us as soon as possible after you are charged to begin mounting an effective weapons crime defense strategy.

There are many types of weapons crimes, each with its own set of criteria and possible penalties:

Menacing

A person can be charged with menacing if, by any threat or physical action, they place or attempt to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Menacing can be a class 3 misdemeanor, or it can be a class 5 felony if the use or threat of use of a deadly weapon is involved.

If you are charged with a weapons crime in Denver..

A person can be charged with possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon if they knowingly possess a dangerous or illegal weapon.A “dangerous weapon” is a firearm silencer, machine gun, short shotgun, short rifle, or ballistic knife.An “illegal weapon” is a blackjack, gas gun, metallic knuckles, gravity knife, or switchblade knife.

An affirmative defense can be used if the accused is a peace officer or member of the armed forces of the United States or Colorado National Guard acting in the lawful discharge of his duties, or that the accused has a valid permit and license for possession of such weapon.

Possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon can be a class 4 or 5 felony, or a class 1 misdemeanor.

Possession of a Defaced Firearm

A person can be charged with possession of a defaced firearm if they unlawfully possess a firearm where the manufacturer’s serial number or other distinguishing number or identification mark has been defaced, removed, destroyed, or altered not through normal wear and tear.

Possession of a defaced firearm is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Defacing a Firearm

A person can be charged with defacing a firearm if they deface, remove, alter, cover, or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing identification mark of a firearm.

Defacing a firearm is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon

A person can be charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon if theyunlawfully carry a firearm or knife concealed on or about his or her person.

A person can be charged if they bring, carry, or possess a firearm, explosive, incendiary, or other dangerous devicewithout appropriate authority where any legislator is or may be conducting a legislative meeting.

Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon on Educational Grounds

A person can be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon on educational grounds if they bring, carry, or possess a deadly weapon of any educational facility without appropriate authorization.

Unlawfully carrying a weapon on educational grounds is a class 6 felony.

Prohibiting Use of Weapons

A person can be charged with prohibited use of weapons if they:

  • Unlawfully aim a firearm at another person
  • Recklessly or with criminal negligence discharge a firearm or shoot a bow and arrow
  • Set a loaded gun, trap, or device explosive device and leave it unattended
  • Possess a firearm while the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance
  • Aim, throw or swing a throwing star or nunchaku at another person, or possess a throwing star or nunchaku in a public place except for the purpose of presenting an authorized public demonstration or exhibition or pursuant to instruction in conjunction with an organized school or class

Prohibited use of weapons is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Illegal Discharge of a Firearm

A person can be charged with the illegal discharge of a firearm if they unlawfully aim a firearm or recklessly discharge a firearm into any structure, or into any motor vehicle occupied by any person.

The illegal discharge of a firearm can be a class 5 felony or a class 2 misdemeanor.

Possession of a Firearm by a Previous Offender

A person can be charged with possession of a firearm by a previous offender if they possess, use, or carry a firearm or other specified weapon subsequent to their conviction for a felony, or subsequent to their conviction for attempt or conspiracy to commit a felony, under Colorado law or any other state’s law, or under federal law.

The possession of a weapon by a previous offender can be a class 5 or a class 6 felony.

Unlawful Purchase of Firearms

A person can be charged with unlawful purchase of firearms if they purchase, obtain or transfer a firearm to a person who the individual reasonably should know is not eligible to possess a firearm pursuant to federal or state law.

A person can also be charged with unlawful purchase of firearms if they are a licensed firearms dealer but does not post a sign displaying the provisions of unlawful purchase of firearms at his store.

The unlawful purchase of firearms can be a class 4 felony or a class 2 petty offense.