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3 Modifications That Make An Otherwise Legal Firearm Illegal

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | December 14, 2021

You don't have to misuse a firearm for it to lead to criminal charges. Sometimes, just the possession of a weapon can lead to criminal allegations. Some people who will face gun charges in Colorado illegally possess a firearm when federal or state laws restrict their right to do so.

Many other people charged with gun crimes will have every legal right to own a firearm. Unfortunately, something about one of their firearms violates state law. What modifications to a firearm might make it illegal?


In Colorado, it is legal to use a device to suppress the noise created by a firearm. However, they have to register that firearm accessory federally. If the police find someone with an unregistered silencer on their weapon or in their possession, that person could face weapons charges.

Shortened barrels on shotguns or rifles

The function of a long gun is ideal as designed, and making home modifications to the length of the barrel can make a firearm less safe. Those who remove part of the barrel on a rifle or shotgun or who import short-barreled rifles or shotguns could face criminal charges.

Shotguns should have barrels that are at least 18 inches long, and rifles should have barrels that are at least 16 inches long.

Removing serial numbers or other identifiers

Defaced firearms are popular on the unregulated market. The serial number or identification mark on the firearm allows the manufacturer to connect a specific unit with a particular buyer and for the state to track the sale of used firearms. Possessing a firearm that has had such identifying information physically removed could lead to criminal charges.

Making sure that your guns comply with the rules of firearm ownership could reduce your risk of facing gun charges in Colorado.

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