Colorado is home to multiple national forests and parks. Even Colorado residents who fully understand and abide by our state’s gun laws often aren’t aware of how they pertain to these federal lands.
In addition to state and federal laws that apply across all of these lands, individual forests and parks can have additional restrictions.
Colorado gun laws apply to national forests located in the state. While visitors licensed to carry guns may do so in national forests, they must follow the laws regarding firearm use on land belonging to the National Forest System.
For example, firearms cannot be discharged:
- Within or into a cave
- On or across a road, a body of water adjacent to the road or “in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result of such discharge.”
- Within 150 yards of any occupied area, recreation site, campsite, building or residence
Individual forests can have additional restrictions, so it’s important to know and follow all rules for the specific forest you’re visiting if you’re bringing a firearm.
National parks have similar restrictions. People who are allowed to carry guns in the state may carry them into our four national parks. However, under federal law, they can’t be brought into any facility within the park, such as a visitor center or administrative or maintenance building. As with national forests, national parks may have their own regulations.
No one wants their camping trip or vacation ruined by an arrest. Therefore, if you’re going to carry a firearm with you for protection, be sure you follow the regulations for the areas you’re visiting. If you find yourself facing an arrest for alleged violations of gun laws in a national forest or park, it’s imperative that you take the matter seriously and seek legal advice.