A few years ago, I represented a Boulder man charged with Felony Menacing with a Deadly Weapon. Even though he was standing on his porch, on his property, 100s of feet past 3 no trespassing/private property signs, never pointed the gun at the trespasser,and all he did was tell the man to leave his property, the prosecutor charged him and took the case to trial. After a hard fought trial against Chief Deputy District Attorney Ryan Brackley, a Boulder jury found him not guilty of all charges.
In Boulder and many other Colorado counties, gun rights are under attack. The right to possess a gun is given in the US Constitution's second amendment and in the Colorado Constitution. This right is strongest on your own property at your home, but it applies everywhere. In this trial, current Boulder District Court Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter prevented me from even telling the jury about these basic constitutional rights. It seems that those charged with enforcing the law at the highest levels do not believe the Constitution is important at trial. It makes me question whether the District Attorney and Judiciary believe citizens should be allowed to defend themselves and their property by owning a gun.
I have no question. I will defend your rights from attack by the government. I will protect these rights by bringing them to a jury for you. Even in Boulder County.
Buying a Gun
When you attempt to purchase a firearm at any gun store, there will be a background check. If you have a felony conviction, you cannot purchase or possess a gun. If you have a domestic violence (DV) conviction, you cannot purchase or possess a gun.
But, if the Colorado Bureau of Investigation CBI has an incomplete or inaccurate record of a felony or Domestic Violence DV conviction against you, you may be prevented from buying a gun too. This can be fixed. I have successfully challenged several denials by CBI. Do not take no for an answer until you have spoken with me.
Guns and Marijuana or Other Drugs
Marijuana users and growers have the right to possess and own firearms. This constitutional right is under attack by those that do not like marijuana. The State and Federal government will attempt to take away your concealed carry permit if they learn that you are a Medical Marijuana Card holder. They can attempt to take you guns if they learn you use recreational marijuana. This is based on a federal law saying that drug addicts cannot possess guns. As is often the case, a reasonable and valid law is applied in such a way as to punish law abiding citizens. There is a huge difference between a medical patient or recreational marijuana user and a heroin or meth addict. If the police find your gun in the same room as a marijuana plant, you may be charged with a Special Offender Felony Drug Offense carrying a minimum 8 year prison sentence.
If you wish to have the extra protections from prosecution afforded under Amendment 20 Regarding Medical Marijuana, but do not want to be on a list that could revoke your concealed carry permit, you can get a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana but never file for a MMR red card. The only people that would know about your medical marijuana recommendation are you and your doctor. If you are ever charged with a marijuana offense, proof of the doctor's recommendation is sufficient for your attorney to invoke the medical marijuana protections.
The Special Offender law specifies that if a person uses, displays, or possesses a deadly weapon on his person or within immediate reach, at the time of the commission of a drug offense, then a special offender charge can be added. Under CRS§18-18-407(1)(f), a special offender count aggravates any felony drug offense (including marijuana cultivation, marijuana possession over 8 ounces or marijuana distribution) to a minimum term of 8 years of prison up to 48 years of prison. The definition of deadly weapon is extremely broad and could easily include a kitchen knife, as well as a gun, or even a bb gun, bottle, fist, foot, or shod foot.
If you could be accused of any felony drug charge, including cultivation of medical marijuana, possession of medical marijuana or distribution of medical marijuana, possession, sale or distribution or manufacturing of methamphetamine or cocaine or magic mushrooms or heroin or prescription drugs, you should make certain that no guns are in the same area, meaning room, car and if possible building. I would also remove all knives and anything like a baseball bat from that area.
That said, I believe that the United States Supreme Court case District of Columbia vs. Heller case, along with other Colorado cases, provide for an unfettered right to self defense in the home, even if you have marijuana (medical marijuana or recreational marijuana). I believe that this law is over-broad and is ripe for appeal. It is safer not to risk a minimum of 8 years in prison to challenge the law.
Other special offender felony drug laws involve prior felony conviction, public housing, proximity to schools. All of these increase your risk and expose you to mandatory prison time.