Background Checks | KUNC

Background Checks

As fear fuels an apparent surge in gun-buying, firearm background checks are taking so long in Colorado that in some instances gun dealers can legally make a sale without an approved background check.

This is a developing story

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As the number of COVID-19 cases grows, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has received a “high volume” of requests for firearm background checks, a rough proxy for gun sales.   

From March 10 to March 16, CBI received 14,604 background check requests, compared to 7,357 from the same timeframe last year. 

In response to the 'extreme volume of requests,' the CBI on Tuesday announced changes to its system, including expanding business hours and reassigning staff.

 

We often look to the number of firearm background checks to estimate gun sales in the U.S. And new data shows that number jumped in 2019. But the real story behind those numbers is more complicated.

Every time someone buys a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer their name is run through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Ammon Bundy, who led an armed standoff with the federal government in an Oregon wildlife refuge, took to Facebook this past weekend. He said he failed a background check to buy a firearm -- and then things took a turn.  

Ramon Amoureux has been in the gun business for decades and through a lot of elections. And, as he knows well, his bottom line shifts with the political winds.

“Gun sales are based on politics in many ways,” Amoureux said. “And prices are based on politics, unfortunately.”

Firearms sales are sluggish these days and, strangely enough, you can probably blame one of the most pro-gun presidents America has seen.

A Florida teen arrived at Denver International Airport last week and then purchased a shotgun at a gun store in the suburb of Littleton. What followed was a massive, frantic manhunt and the closure of schools all over northern Colorado. Questions about the legality of that gun purchase persist.

The Democratic-led House Thursday approved another piece of legislation to broaden federal gun-control legislation. The bill gives the FBI more time to do background checks on gun purchasers. It comes a day after the chamber passed a bill extending the checks to private firearms sales.

Both measures face long odds at becoming law.

The latest bill would extend the time sellers have to wait before completing a gun sale. Like Wednesday's measure, it passed largely along party lines — 228 to 198.

Almost 25 years to the day after the Brady Bill first mandated background checks for some gun sales, House Democrats and a handful of Republicans just voted to require background checks on all gun sales.

The House had not voted on major gun legislation since 1994, when it passed the 10-year ban on so-called assault weapons.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

The House passed what advocates call the most significant gun control measure in more than two decades on Wednesday when it approved the first of two bills aimed at broadening the federal background check system for firearms purchases.

The vote on the first bill, dubbed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed largely along party lines 240 to 190 with Democrats who control the House cheering as they carried the legislation across the finish line.

The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales — including those that occur online or at gun shows. On Monday, a group of four CEOs sent a letter urging Congress to pass the proposal.

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