Colorado’s booming gun sales lead to long wait times, ammo shortages; first-timers on the rise

Colorado’s booming gun sales lead to long wait times, ammo shortages; first-timers on the rise

DENVER–Colorado is experiencing a rush to buy guns and ammunition created by concerns over COVID-19 lockdowns and ongoing civil disorder nationwide. Since January, monthly gun sales in Colorado have been steadily increasing from more than 39,000 to more than 52,000 in August. A very large jump in March more than doubled sales to over 82,000. Sales have since dropped, but demand remains high, averaging more than 56,000 sales per month from April through August, according to Jurgen Brauer, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting . Nationally, the number of background checks submitted by dealers to the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) has reached record levels, exceeding 26 million through August of this year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation says in an August 24 press release , “58 percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women, the largest increase of any demographic group. Women comprised 40 percent of first-time gun purchasers.” The increase in gun sales is causing serious issues with Colorado’s InstaCheck background check system operated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Background checks that used to take an average of about 8 minutes are now taking up to 56 hours to complete. CBI is the point of contact for NICS transactions, but the state also does a more complicated background check than the NICS system alone, which takes more time. The inordinate delays resulted in a September 4th request by Lauren Larson, Director of the Office of State Planning […]

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