Colorado flooded with record 4,200 gun-buyer background check requests after Conn. school shooting

Gun shop owner: Buyers fear assault-rifle ban

DENVER - Colorado set a single-day record for gun-purchase background check requests the day after the Connecticut school shootings, creating a backlog that still hasn't been cleared.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Medina said there were more than 4,200 requests to buy guns in Colorado on Saturday. Those gun-purchase requests surpassed the previous record -- 4,028 background checks processed on Black Friday this year.

The latest surge in gun-buyer applications came after a gunman on Friday killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

At the L & M Firing Line, it has been non-stop business since Friday.

"This is the busiest we've ever been," said Richard Taylor, owner of the combination gun store and indoor firing range in Aurora.

"As soon as they announced that the President (Barack Obama) was going to start speaking and possibly mention gun control, yeah things just went crazy," Taylor told 7NEWS Monday. "And Saturday and Sunday, I’ve never seen anything like it.

It's not surprising Fire Line customers.

"All the mass shootings, everything we've seen on the news, people are more concerned with protecting their home, their families," customer Tim Scott said.

People are also more concerned with protecting their guns.

The gun drawing special interest has been the AR-15 rifle. It's the same type of semi-automatic rifle that was used in the Aurora Theater shooting and now in Connecticut.

 Taylor said customers are concerned the government may ban AR-15 assault rifles.

"There's so much controversy over (AR-15s) that they feel, well I need to get one because they may never be able to get one again," said one customer who didn't want to be identified.

CBI always has additional staff ready to process Black Friday firearm background checks, because it's normally the biggest gun-buying day of the year, Medina said. But the weekend surge after the Connecticut school attack caught the agency by surprise.

"We had to call in extra staff," Medina said.

The flood of Colorado background-check requests caused wait times to skyrocket.

Taylor said it normally takes about 15 minutes for CBI to process a background check, but the wait time has taken up to 23 hours in the past few days.

"There are 2,134 people waiting for background checks right now," Taylor said. "This is as high as I’ve ever seen it -- absolutely.  Prior to this we thought 1,100 (pending background checks) was really high."

Medina said CBI staff has been working after-hours to catch up with the backlog of background checks.