Mixing Guns and Protests in Colorado

Doug Richards, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield®, describes what laws should gun owners be aware of when attending a protest. (Transcript below.)


Doug Richards here for U.S. LawShield.

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about protesting, and I think that this is an important topic to discuss, given what’s happened recently in Charlottesville.

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What I want to talk to you about is whether you can, and whether you should, carry a firearm about a protest.

protest, doug richards, colorado
Doug Richards, Independent Program Attorney

Now, there is no specific law in Colorado that prohibits the either open or concealed carry of a firearm at a public protest. You could run into some problems, depending on where it actually occurs.

If it occurs on federal property, or on state property where firearms are prohibited, or if it occurs within a government building, obviously statutory restrictions would limit your ability to carry concealed. However, there is no statute in place that says you can’t carry a firearm at a public demonstration, or at a public gathering such as a protest.

Now the question is whether or not you should.

I don’t think you should. I think it’s a very poor choice to bring a firearm to any sort of a rally or a protest or anything like that. Obviously if there’s an incident and you’re the one that’s in possession of the firearm, you will immediately be under some significant scrutiny by the police and the district attorney’s office. Moreover, if you’re in possession of the firearm, you could very easily be charged with either disorderly conduct or menacing if your actions are creating a panic in other people or making them feel as if you’re presenting the firearm in a way that might hurt them or in a way to attack them.

So whether you can, and whether you should, like many things with the Second Amendment, you know, they don’t necessarily go together, and I urge you to exercise caution when you’re exercising your First Amendment rights and your Second Amendment rights.


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Comment section

5 comments on “Mixing Guns and Protests in Colorado

  1. I am a disabled veteran I lost both of my legs in service to the Constitution and the people of this Country a lifetime oath and the same oath the members of our government take. that second amendment was added to the Constitution to protect us the people from an out of control government.
    Can you explain to me how any of these Laws and regulations, in particular the signs on government facilities which are the Peoples properties are in any way Constitution?
    The second amendment is one of the most direct and concise amendments in the in the Constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. The part, “A well regulated Militia”, is We the People, the part “being necessary to the security of a free state”, is We the People protecting this Country and its Constitution against any aggression, which includes the Individuals in our government that are failing to support the People, and the Constitution. The Part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”, the definition of infringe is, to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another, and any of the so called laws and regulations are unconstitutional because they infringe on our, WE THE PEOPLE’S Constitutional rights!
    Yes, Local and State Governments have a right to make local laws and regulations as long as they don’t go against the Constitution.
    I Know, I’m probably just a stupid old man that gave up his legs for this Country, It’s People and It’s Constitution, so could you please ex-plane to me in simplest terms why the most educated people in this country, including lawyers our law makers our judges, our news media can’t understand what to infringe on our right to keep and bear Arms means? They don’t even Know what definition of to infringe is.
    It looks like to me that that we the People are going to have to rise up and physically remove the People that refuse to honor their oath to protect the People of this country and their Constitution.

  2. An arm carried defensively and not displayed until a physical threat of bodily harm is created by an attacker is precisely why many are carrying in the first place. The left has paid protesters attacking people at just about any situation people on the right gather to do anything (pray, protest, hear a candidate). Your odds of being attacked are greater now at an event like that than going about daily businesses.

    Are you suggesting we abandon our rights or remain defenseless at times when it is more likely that violent left wing agitators are likely to riot and attack us?

  3. Damn good advice! What happens if you’re assaulted
    physically or with an object, or spray, or urine?

  4. Though I admire Mr. Richards legal perspective and devotion to the protection of the legal status of gun owners in Colorado, I must respectfully call him to task for frequently advising in opposition to precisely the conditions in which concealed weapons permits are desired and obtained.

    It is our right in Colorado to choose to obtain a CCW permit, and therefore, it is only reasonable that those with CCW permits carry in public and in circumstances in which a person may find themselves either threatened, or believe that they may be threatened. After all, these are precisely among the conditions for which people seek the carry of firearms.

    The legal concealment of the firearm does not in itself produce any sort of threat to others, and yet it serves to provide a defense if one finds themselves in a threatening situation. The fact that the circumstances could become threatening is not sufficient cause to curb either our constitutional right to free speech or free assembly, or the reasonable carry of firearms for personal protections.

    “I think it’s a very poor choice to bring a firearm to any sort of a rally or a protest or anything like that.” Such a statement suggests it is inappropriate to provide a defense of one’s self simply because the circumstances may potentially be threatening. Rather, these are precisely the conditions in which one SHOULD carry.

    Nothing about these events should dictate that the legal action of a citizen should be infringed, nor should an assumption be made that a reasonable person would be unable to restrain themselves from illegal or threatening action in which one “could very easily be charged with either disorderly conduct or menacing”. PERHAPS the open carry of firearms would present a threat, but the properly concealed firearm should provide no threat of any kind.

    Greater care may best be exercised in the advice offered in this forum, in order to more effectively provide guidance on commonly encountered firearms legal matters.

  5. Thank you. I agree with you absolutely. I do have a question. Do I avoid going to a place to express my civil rights where I could possibly be in danger based on the reasoning there are certain places you should not bring a gun?

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