CBI: Gun checks surge after killings
State data shows Coloradans flocked to gun stores after Friday’s shooting massacre in Aurora as firearms background checks nearly doubled over three days from the pace of a year ago.
“There’s an overall increase in checks from 2011 and 2012, as well as a surge from the past weekend compared to the same period in 2011,” said Susan Medina, spokeswoman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Denver.
On Friday, some 1,216 requests for background checks were made by gun dealers via telephone, or the Internet, to CBI’s Instacheck unit, a 71 percent increase over average Fridays in July in 2011, according to figures released Monday by CBI.
Similar spikes were recorded Saturday and Sunday, according to the data. Sunday recorded 428 Instacheck queries statewide, nearly double the average Sunday in July of 2011.
CBI’s Instacheck unit conducts background checks on individuals purchasing firearms in Colorado from federally licensed firearms dealers.
The checks are made by querying a series of law enforcement databases. The unit compares the information to federal and state guidelines prohibiting purchase of firearms based on defined criteria, including but not limited to a felony conviction or an active restraining order.
Through the end of June, CBI had performed 142,558 Instacheck queries, a 20 percent year-to-date increase, according to CBI data.
The CBI data also shows yearly increases in concealed handgun carry permits. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department handled a spike in phone queries about the permits around midweek, before Friday’s shootings, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said.
“More people were specifically asking about the robbery,” said Benjamin, referring to an alleged attempted robbery and assault of a woman who was returning to work after lunch July 16 at Barnes Electric, 2811 Riverside Parkway.