Background checks for gun purchases have hit a record high in Colorado following a number of mass shooting in the last year.
KKCO reported that figures provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) indicated that the state had conducted 350,000 background checks through November, surpassing any previous year.
“January through November 2013 have passed all of 2012, so we’re definitely higher than we were in 2012,” CBI spokesperson Susan Medina explained.
While the final numbers for December have not been compiled, over 2,000 background checks were performed last weekend alone.
Gun retailers point to recent mass shootings, like the slaughter of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year, as one factor driving sales.
“After the tragic school shooting when everybody started trying to hoard, then we had a great influx of people trying to purchase firearms,” licensed firearms dealer Brian Langfitt told KKCO. “Because I think they were afraid that the government was going to step in and regulate a certain segment of the firearms, so what they were doing was rushing to do that.”
Background checks in Colorado are expected to increase after January 1st because a new law will require private sales between individuals to include a background check at a licensed dealer.
“In the past, a seller in a private transaction just had to have a general knowledge that the person they were selling the firearm to could legally possess the firearm,” Medina pointed out. “Now it’s a new law and they need to take part in that background check process.”
But gun advocates insist that background checks are not answer to gun violence.
“Blaming a gun for a shooting is like blaming a fork for being fat,” Langfitt said.
Watch the video below from KKCO, broadcast Dec. 31, 2013.
[Stock photo of dealer with guns and assault rifle (Shutterstock.com)]