The following is a video transcript.
Doug Richards for U.S. LawShield of Colorado. I want to talk to you today about our holiday season and how a lot of times folks end up with a couple of cocktails, and they’ve got their firearm on them, or they make the terrible decision of shooting their gun off in the air in celebration of the holiday. Let’s examine that a little bit.
In Colorado, there is no law that says it is illegal to possess a drink in one hand like a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine, and your firearm in the other hand. While you can have a gun in one hand and your cocktail in the other hand, it is a bad idea because Colorado does not have any per se or a legal limit that says that you are therefore intoxicated or impaired, and in possession of a firearm. It is different than driving. In Colorado, there are actually two different standards for impairment in relation to your ability to drive.
There is no such standard in Colorado with regards to firearms, which means that the determination of your level of impairment or intoxication is 100% subjective to the police officer who is making the decision to arrest you for being unlawfully in possession of a firearm while you’re intoxicated.
Now, if you decide to go outside while you are drinking and firing your gun off in the air, you most certainly will attract the attention of law enforcement. They may come with their guns drawn. What was turning into a fun celebration for you can turn deadly if the police think that you are a danger to them. At the very best, you could be facing a charge of discharging a firearm within the city limits. Obviously, you would run the risk of losing your CCW privileges, so it’s just not worth it.
In terms of fireworks, if you are intoxicated and decide to fire off a firework instead of your gun, I don’t recommend it because you could be either negligent, or reckless in the way that you are lighting these fireworks, or where you are letting them off. If somebody gets hurt, or God forbid somebody gets killed because of your conduct, that could come back to you in either civil or criminal penalties depending on the facts and whether or not your conduct was indeed reckless, or negligent, and certainly the intoxication would not help.