C.R.S. Section 18-12-101
Peace officer affirmative defense

  • definitions

Mentioned in

Colorado Knife Laws – What You Can & Cannot Legally Carry

JD Supra, November 28, 2023

“In Colorado, you are not permitted to bring any type of knife onto school property. State law, specifically defined in statute 18-12-101 C.R.S., describes a 'knife' as…”
Bibliographic info

Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Colorado Legal Defense Group, October 20, 2023

“When is ‘concealed carry’ permitted in Colorado?”
Bibliographic info


As used in this article 12, unless the context otherwise requires:


“Adult” means any person eighteen years of age or older.


“Ballistic knife” means any knife that has a blade which is forcefully projected from the handle by means of a spring-loaded device or explosive charge.


“Blackjack” includes any billy, sand club, sandbag, or other hand-operated striking weapon consisting, at the striking end, of an encased piece of lead or other heavy substance and, at the handle end, a strap or springy shaft which increases the force of impact.


“Bomb” means any explosive or incendiary device or molotov cocktail as defined in section 9-7-103, C.R.S., or any chemical device which causes or can cause an explosion, which is not specifically designed for lawful and legitimate use in the hands of its possessor.


“Federally licensed firearm dealer” means a licensed dealer as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a)(11).


“Bureau” means the Colorado bureau of investigation created in section 24-33.5-401, C.R.S.


“Federal firearms licensee” means a federally licensed firearm dealer, federally licensed firearm importer, and federally licensed firearm manufacturer.


“Firearm” means any weapon, including a starter gun, that can, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of a firearm; or a firearm silencer. “Firearm” does not include an antique firearm, as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a)(16). In the case of a licensed collector, “firearm” means only curios and relics. “Firearm” includes a weapons parts kit that is designed to or may readily be completed, assembled, restored, or otherwise converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. “Firearm” does not include a weapon, including a weapons parts kit, in which the frame or receiver of the firearm, as defined in subsection (1)(c.5) of this section, or the weapon, is destroyed.


“Federally licensed firearm importer” means a licensed importer as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a)(9).


“Federally licensed firearm manufacturer” means a licensed manufacturer as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a)(10).


“Firearm silencer” means any instrument, attachment, weapon, or appliance for causing the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol, or other firearm to be silent or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any such weapon.


“Fire control component” means a component necessary for the firearm to initiate, complete, or continue the firing sequence, including any of the following: Hammer, bolt, bolt carrier, breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails.


“Frame or receiver of a firearm” means a part of a firearm that, when the complete firearm is assembled, is visible from the exterior and provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate one or more fire control components, even if pins or other attachments are required to connect the fire control components. Any part of a firearm imprinted with a serial number is presumed to be a frame or receiver of a firearm, unless the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives makes an official determination otherwise or there is other reliable evidence to the contrary.


“Gas gun” means a device designed for projecting gas-filled projectiles which release their contents after having been projected from the device and includes projectiles designed for use in such a device.




“Handgun” means a pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve inches.


“Juvenile” means any person under the age of eighteen years.


“Knife” means any dagger, dirk, knife, or stiletto with a blade over three and one-half inches in length, or any other dangerous instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing, or tearing wounds, but does not include a hunting or fishing knife carried for sports use. The issue that a knife is a hunting or fishing knife must be raised as an affirmative defense.


“Locking device” means a device that prohibits the operation or discharge of a firearm and that can only be disabled with the use of a key, combination, or biometric data.


“Machine gun” means any firearm, whatever its size and usual designation, that shoots automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.


“Machine gun conversion device” means any part designed or intended, or combination of parts designed or intended, for use in converting a firearm into a machine gun.


“Personalized firearm” means a firearm that has, as part of its original manufacture, incorporated design technology that allows the firearm to be fired only by the authorized user and prevents any of the safety characteristics of the firearm from being readily deactivated by anyone other than the authorized user. The technology limiting the firearm’s operational use may include, but is not limited to, fingerprint verification, magnetic encoding, radio frequency tagging, and other automatic user identification systems utilizing biometric, mechanical, or electronic systems.


“Short rifle” means a rifle having a barrel less than sixteen inches long or an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.


“Short shotgun” means a shotgun having a barrel or barrels less than eighteen inches long or an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.


“Stun gun” means a device capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge.




“Three-dimensional printer” or “3-D printer” means a computer-aided manufacturing device capable of producing a three-dimensional object from a three-dimensional digital model through an additive manufacturing process that involves the layering of two-dimensional cross sections formed of a resin or similar material that are fused together to form a three-dimensional object.


“Unfinished frame or receiver” means any forging, casting, printing, extrusion, machined body, or similar article that has reached a stage in manufacture when it may readily be completed, assembled, or converted to be used as the frame or receiver of a functional firearm; or that is marketed or sold to the public to become or be used as the frame or receiver of a functional firearm once completed, assembled, or converted.


It shall be an affirmative defense to any provision of this article that the act was committed by a peace officer in the lawful discharge of his duties.

Source: Section 18-12-101 — Peace officer affirmative defense - definitions, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-18.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Peace officer affirmative defense - definitions
Possessing a dangerous or illegal weapon - affirmative defense - definition
Possession of a defaced firearm
Defaced firearms - contraband - destruction
Defacing a firearm
Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons
Unlawfully carrying a weapon - unlawful possession of weapons - school, college, or university grounds
Limitation on local ordinances regarding firearms in private vehicles
Prohibited use of weapons - definitions
Use of stun guns
Penalty for second offense
Illegal discharge of a firearm - penalty
Possession of weapons by previous offenders
Possession of handguns by juveniles - prohibited - exceptions - penalty
Unlawfully providing or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun - penalty - unlawfully providing a firearm other than a handgun to a juvenile - penalty
Possession, use, or removal of explosives or incendiary devices - possession of components thereof - chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons - persons exempt - hoaxes
Forfeiture of firearms
Unlawful purchase of firearms
Unlawful conduct involving an unserialized firearm, frame, or receiver - exceptions - penalties - authority to serialize a firearm
Private firearms transfers - sale and purchase - background check required - penalty - definitions
Firearms transfers by licensed dealers - sale and purchase - background check required - penalty - definitions
Failure to report a lost or stolen firearm - exception
Secure firearm storage required - penalty - exceptions
Waiting period for firearms sales - background check required - penalty - exceptions
Legislative declaration
Criteria for obtaining a permit
Permit contents - validity - carrying requirements
Sheriff - application - procedure - background check
Sheriff - issuance or denial of permits - report
Judicial review - permit denial - permit suspension - permit revocation
Colorado bureau of investigation - duties
Issuance by sheriffs of temporary emergency permits
Maintenance of permit - address change - invalidity of permit
Renewal of permits
Authority granted by permit - carrying restrictions - local authority
Large-capacity magazines prohibited - penalties - exceptions
Identification markings for large-capacity magazines - rules
Retail dealers - record - inspection
Record - failure to make - penalty
Jurisdiction - county courts
Locking device required - penalty
Background checks at gun shows - penalty
Records - penalty
Fees imposed by licensed gun dealers
Posted notice - penalty
Effective date
Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 18-12-101’s source at colorado​.gov