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Private Gun Sales See Effect From New Background Check Law

Bill Bradford
Flickr - Creative Commons

Democratic state lawmakers say a new law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases is working well. Data from the Department of Public Safety shows 2 percent of private gun sales were blocked because of the law.

Seventy-two sales were stopped because the would-be buyer was convicted or charged with a serious crime; such as murder, sexual assault, possession of dangerous drugs and theft. 

“You may think someone doesn’t have a record that you’re going to sell a gun to, you think I’ve known this person, but the fact we now have an independent agency doing the background check is really important,” said Representative Beth McCann (D-Denver), one of the main sponsors of the legislation.

A recent poll from Quinnipiac University shows that most Coloradans support universal background checks for gun purchases. The poll also shows Coloradans oppose a new law that limits high capacity magazines to 15 rounds. Both the background check and magazine limits were passed during the 2013 legislative session and were divisive, leading to historic recalls of state Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron.

Colorado's Democrats still maintain the majority at the legislature. Republicans who hold a minority in both chambers say they plan to try to repeal the gun control laws next session. They argue the background check measure puts an undue burden on law-abiding citizens.

Read More: After Fight Over Colorado Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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