The laws governing the legal use, storage, carrying and transporting of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of Colorado as of7/23/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to Colorado legislation at lexisnexis.com. If you have any specific questions concerning Castle Doctrine/Self-Defense laws in any state, American Firearms Training recommends contacting an attorney.
The Castle Doctrine (also known as Castle Law, Defense of Habitat Law) are state legal defense laws that gives citizens in their homes/abode, and in some states, cars or workplaces the right to protect themselves, other people, and their property by force, in some instances even deadly force without the consequences of legal and civil responsibility or criminal persecution. A Castle Doctrine also states that a person has no “duty of retreat” (avoid the conflict at all cost) when one’s home/abode is under attack.
The State of Colorado does have a Castle Law variation. These laws can be viewed below.
18-1-704 Use Of Physical Force In Defense Of A Person
1. Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.
2. Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate and:
(a.) The actor has reasonable ground to believe, and does believe, that he or another person is in imminent danger of being killed or of receiving great bodily injury; or
(b.) The other person is using or reasonably appears about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling or business establishment while committing or attempting to commit burglary as defined in sections 18-4-202 to 18-4-204; or
(c.) The other person is committing or reasonably appears about to commit kidnapping as defined in section 18-3-301 or 18-3-302, robbery as defined in section 18-4-301 or 18-4-302, sexual assault as set forth in section 18-3-402 or 18-3-403 as it existed prior to July 1, 2000, or assault as defined in sections 18-3-202 or 18-3-203.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a person is not justified in using physical force if:
(a.) With intent to cause bodily injury or death to another person, he provokes the use of unlawful physical force by that other person; or
(b.) He is the initial aggressor, except that his use of physical force upon another person under the circumstances is justifiable if he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his intent to do so, but the latter nevertheless continues or threatens the use of unlawful physical force; or
(c.) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.
18-1-704.5 Use Of Deadly Physical Force Against An Intruder ("Make My Day Law")
1. The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
3. Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions or subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
4. Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
18-1-705 Use Of Physical Force In Defense Of Premises
A person in possession or control of any building, realty, or other premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon, is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to prevent or terminate what he reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of an unlawful trespass by the other person in or upon the building, realty, or premises. However, he may use deadly force only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704, or when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the trespasser to commit first-degree arson.
18-1-706 Use Of Physical Force In Defense Of Property
A person is justified in using reasonably and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the other person to commit theft, criminal mischief, or criminal tampering involving property, but he may use deadly physical force under these circumstances only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704.