If you're looking to get a concealed handgun permit in Colorado, there's a lot you need to know ahead of time.

We're living in a whirlwind of unrest in every sense of the word. Whether it's due to COVID-19, the current socio-political issues, or a personal crisis, you may have thought to yourself, "Just how safe am I?" The thought of getting a concealed handgun permit (CHP) has likely crossed your mind, whether you have experience with firearms or none at all. Getting a CCP doesn't mean you're all of a sudden a gun-toting cowboy ready for a shootout at the O.K. Corral, it's just a measure of taking personal safety more seriously with a healthier respect for a firearm.

You may think your area is safe enough or the baseball bat under the bed is a sufficient weapon, but having the credentials to legally possess a concealed weapon adds an extra layer of protection. Think of a CCP the same way you would a driver's license. You may never need to drive a car, but you should know how in case you need to get somewhere and you're street legal. In the same vein, you may never need to use a gun, but at least you know how to properly and safely operate one and you're on the right side of the law.

If you're ready to go through the necessary steps to becoming a CHP holder, you need to take the time, energy, and cost into account before starting the process. You will need to apply for a CHP in the county in which you reside and a processing fee will be collected at the time of application. There is also the added cost of the firearm training course itself, but this does not need to take place in your county of residence. 

gun in purse
Courtesy of Gun Tote'N Mamas

For those who aren't military service members, certified firearms instructors, retired law enforcement (pistol qualification credentials must have been issued within the last 10 years), or active participants in shooting competitions, you will need to provide a certificate from a handgun training course that has taken place within the last 10 years before applying for a CCP. Please bear in mind online courses and Hunter's Safety certificates do not qualify you for a CCP.

Along with your certificate, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • 21 years of age or older by date of application
  • Valid Colorado Driver's License or Colorado ID or a Military ID and PCS orders
  • Background check 

Once you've completed all necessary paperwork and provided any other required items such as fingerprints and previous addresses, you'll be on your way to receiving your CCP. It can be an exciting moment, but your responsibility doesn't end there. It's important you continue to practice shooting your handgun, keep it clean and lubricated, and store it in a safe place. Keep up with regular firearm training to enhance your situational awareness, drawing, and aiming to ensure you are prepared for the worst-case scenario. 

Carrying a concealed handgun is a huge responsibility and if you don't feel comfortable seeking this option, don't do it. For those who do, remember that carrying concealed is a privilege—not a right—and should be treated as such.

Do you have a carry and conceal permit or would you consider getting one? Share your thoughts in the comments.