Colorado gun sale background checks at record high
DENVER — Gun sale background checks in Colorado are at a record high, and retailers attribute the rise in part to concerns over crackdowns on guns following recent school shootings, including the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., that left 20 adults and six children dead.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said it has already performed more than 350,000 checks through last month, which is more than all of last year.
Over the past weekend, more than 2,000 criminal background checks were performed in Colorado, a high number caused by Christmas sales, a major gun show and other factors.
Although the large number of weekend sales followed a shooting at Arapahoe High School that left two students dead on Dec. 13, including the shooter who was a student at the school, state officials said they could not determine if that was another reason for the increase in sales.
“After the tragic school shooting (at Sandy Hook Elementary) when everybody started trying to hoard, then we had a great influx of people trying to purchase firearms,” said Brian Langfitt, a licensed dealer and owner of Pawn of Western Colorado.
Susan Medina, spokeswoman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said Tuesday the department does not know what effect new state laws on background checks will have on the number of background checks next year.
On Jan. 1, all private individuals selling to other private individuals will be required to go to a licensed dealer for an authorized background check.
“In the past, a seller in a private transaction just had to have a general knowledge that the person they were selling the firearm to could legally possess the firearm,” Medina said.
Statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Safety show that nearly 5,000 background checks were performed on private sales from July, including 72 that were blocked due to prior criminal records, KKCO-TV reported Tuesday.