Colorado gun background checks denied 6,590 buyers last year - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Colorado gun background checks denied 6,590 buyers last year

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Universal background checks stopped some 6,590 people in Colorado from buying guns last year and also resulted in the arrests of 227 fugitives. The most recent statistics from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation also show that through November, the most common reason a gun buyer was denied was for a past assault conviction or arrest.

Those denials make up slightly more than 2 percent of all of the 291,000 criminal history searches performed. 

The state average is slightly higher than what gun store owner Justin Green noticed at his business. Green owns Stop Drop and Shop on North Academy Boulevard and said out of the roughly 250 monthly criminal background checks he conducts, only about four people a month are denied.

Green said he had six denials in December which was a busier than average month.

"With the political climate and Christmas and everything else, it was just a perfect storm," Green said. "We were up about 50 percent or more on background checks than what we ran in October and November."

Whether an individual customer or a private sale, Green said the buy must submit a US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms form 4473. That information is then uploaded into the InstaCheck database and processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

While it's rare, Green said the screenings have resulted in the occasional arrest for an outstanding warrant, usually related to a traffic fine.

"Cops came in and picked him up while he was in process waiting on his background check because he had a failure to appear and the police don't like that," Green said.

While he believes the system is working, Green doesn't think it's necessary.

"From what I see here on a daily basis, most gun owners in our state in particular, they're all law-abiding citizens, they put up with more rules, more regulations than anybody else."

He points out that all Federal Firearms Licensees have broad discretion when it comes to who they sell to.

"In your interview with the ATF, your IOI, your local investigator will tell you to discriminate, they don't want to put guns out there for straw purchases," Green explained.

The fee for a criminal background check recently dropped from $10 per search to $7. It is a misdemeanor crime punishable by 6 to 18 months in prison and $500 to $5,000 fine to violate the universal background check law.

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