Colorado background checks for firearms up 227%


With a historic volume of requests for background checks for firearms transfers, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) InstaCheck Unit is reporting extended wait times for these important public safety checks.

With 25,468 background checks for firearms transfers received in the last week, as compared to 7,773 received in the same timeframe last year, this has resulted in an increase of 227%.

The sustained demand has resulted in a queue of 12,442 with an average turnaround time of approximately four calendar days. When the background check turnaround times exceed the federal regulation of three business days, it becomes the discretion of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to release firearms outside of this window. However, the CBI strongly encourages firearms dealers to hold firearms until background checks are completed.

The CBI has implemented changes to address this unprecedented volume of background checks, from expanding internal InstaCheck hours to cross-training specialized staff members to assist in the process; however, these efforts must be balanced with protecting the health and safety of employees and reducing the potential for community spread related to COVID-19. 

Spikes and delays in background checks for firearms transfers are being reported nationwide. 

The CBI said they are committed to performing background checks as quickly and efficiently as possible, as evidenced by InstaCheck’s average turnaround of less than eight minutes prior to COVID-19. The CBI continues to implement adjustments to address the demand and appreciates the patience of FFL’s and their customers.

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