Color Of Guns

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice on this matter, retain a licensed, competent attorney in your relevant jurisdiction.

If you are like me, after reading this blog title, you may want to begin singing It’s In The Way That You Use It from Eric Clapton’s hit song on the soundtrack of the 1986 movie The Color Of Money. But seriously, this article is about adding color to guns. Many people are either buying guns from their retailer which are already colored from the factory, or they are doing cosmetic work to their gun after purchase, such as cerakoting.

But from a legal perspective of a self-defensive shooting scenario involving a colored gun, should you have color in your gun? Does it give you a leg up or not? The answer is…it depends.

There a two legal schools of thought on this subject. One thought is that a good defense attorney will hold up the colored gun used in the shooting as evidence for the jury to see and say to the jury “The defendant is not a bad person. How many bad people do you know who carry a turquoise blue gun?” The other thought is that prosecutor will hold up the same gun for the jury and say to the jury “The defendant was inexperienced, using this cheap turquoise blue gun, and hastily shot the victim.”

Is that a legitimate prosecutorial argument? Maybe. Maybe not. Serving on a jury means you are engaging in a popularity contest regarding the defendant. Having served on two juries myself, when the trial begins, each jury member has a preconceived notion of the defendant. That preconceived notion is either “I like you” or “I don’t like you”. Then, as the trial progresses, the prosecution tries to get the jury members to conceive of the defendant as “I don’t like you” and gain a conviction, while the defense tries to get the jury members to conceive of the defendant as “I like you” and gain an acquittal.

So the prosecution will hold up the turquoise blue gun to the jury as evidence. They will try to show the defendant was inexperienced handling firearms, purchasing and carrying a cheap turquoise blue gun. The prosecution does not have to prove inexperience by the defendant. Jurors will decide for themselves if the color of the gun helps the prosecution. The general consensus is or the prosecutor may point out that expensive guns are not produced in colors beyond black, stainless steel or desert tan, or that owners of these expensive guns will not add bling to the gun…as concealed carry guns.

The defense will also hold up the same turquoise blue gun to the jury, and will attempt to convince the jury the defendant was an experienced shooter, despite the gun color. The defense may bring in one or more expert witnesses who will corroborate the defendant’s level of experience. But the bottom line is that this becomes more work and more money for the defense.

So, if you like colored guns, get one. Then practice, practice, practice, so that you become experienced in shooting that particular gun.