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Colorado gun sales see significant uptick amid growing fears around COVID-19 outbreak

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 21:03:37-04

DENVER — Colorado gun sales are seeing a significant uptick amid growing fears around the COVID-19 outbreak.

So much so, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the agency that processes background checks, has implemented changes, like expanding hours of operations, to keep up with demand.

More than 14,000 background checks for firearms transfers were received in the last week, as compared to approximately 7,000 checks conducted in the same timeframe the previous year, according to the CBI.

Officials with the CBI said the demand had created a current queue of nearly 5,000 checks awaiting processing.

The agency said while the turnaround time remains within the three business-day period required through federal regulations, the current wait time is approaching two days.

A background check to purchase a firearm typically takes between five and eight minutes.

The agency said it would be implementing the following changes to address the high volume of background check requests for firearms transfers:

  • Expanding internal InstaCheck hours of operation. (Public hours of operation remain 9am-9pm; however, examiners are working outside of those hours to reduce the queue.)
  • Cross-training specialized CBI staff members to assist in the background check process off-site to help ensure social distancing related to COVID-19.
  • Retasking employees to InstaCheck who had recently accepted new assignments in other CBI sections.
  • Making some modifications to the submission process for background checks.