New Laws or Not, 2013 Record Gun Sales Year in State

Given the hue and cry over gun control measures passed this year by the Colorado legislature, it may come as some surprise that 2013 will go down as Colorado’s busiest gun-buying year on record, according to a new report by Annie Melton of the CU News Corps.

Of course, those numbers are swollen due in part – but only in part – to a new law that requires background checks for private firearm transfers. A second law limited the size of bullet magazines.

FBI Background Checks in Colorado

CU News Corps

FBI Background Checks in Colorado

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation completed 354,880 background checks through November, compared to 335,940 for all of 2012, an increase of nearly 19,000 checks with December – usually the busiest month for gun purchases in the U.S. – still to go.

That’s a lot of guns changing hands by anyone’s count.

Melton also reported that state Department of Public Safety statistics show 4,792 background checks on private sales from July, when the new law went into effect, through the end of November.

There were 72 of those checks  that resulted in blocked sales because the would-be purchasers had criminal records.

Advocates for the new universal background check law say those blocked sales show that it is working as intended.

Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, is critical of new state gun control laws.

Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, is critical of new state gun control laws.

However, Tony Fabian, president of the Colorado State Shooting Association, called the legislation  stifling and unnecessary, Melton reported. “There are now ridiculous hurdles to obtaining a firearm,” Fabian said.

CU News Corps is an investigative news project of the Journalism & Mass Communication program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Melton’s full report and other stories by News Corps on the gun debate here.

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