There are many different laws governing firearms in the state of Colorado. Most people know there are restrictions surrounding the purchase, sale, and use of firearms, but a lot of people are not familiar with the crime of defacing a firearm.
What is Defacing a Firearm?
Defacing a firearm simply means removing, covering, altering, or destroying the manufacturer’s serial number that is printed on the weapon. It is also a crime to be in possession of a defaced firearm even if you were not the one who defaced it. But, it’s important to note that you cannot be charged with either one of these crimes if the serial number has been affected by normal wear and tear.
Why is it Illegal to Deface a Firearm?
The serial number is a unique number that law enforcement officers can use to identify the owner of the firearm. Law enforcement can also use this number to determine if the firearm has been reported stolen.
For example, if a police officer finds a firearm at the scene of a crime, he will need to figure out who the weapon belongs to so he can find out if the owner is connected to the crime. To do this, he can simply look up the owner’s information using the serial number. But, if the firearm has been defaced, this is no longer an option.
Penalties for Defacing a Firearm
Defacing a firearm is a class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Colorado. This means defendants who are charged with this crime can be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail in addition to up to $5,000 in fines.
The possession of a defaced firearm is usually charged as a class 1 misdemeanor as well. However, it can be charged as a class 5 felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for possession of a defaced firearm, the illegal use of weapons, or the unlawful carry of a concealed weapon within the last five years. If it is charged as a class 5 felony, the consequences become much more serious. A class 5 felony conviction can result in up to three years in prison and fines up to $100,000. You can also lose your right to own a firearm if you are convicted of this crime.
Have you been charged with a weapons crime? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. A weapons crime conviction can seriously impact your future, so you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.