This weekend set a record for all single-day background check submittals in Colorado for potential gun purchases, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials.
The first day after news of one of the worst mass shootings in America, when a gunman killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., requests to buy guns in Colorado surged.
A total of 4,154 background checks were submitted on Saturday, said CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina. Those figures topped the previous greatest number of background checks on Black Friday this year, when 4,028 were processed.
The surge after the massacre surprised CBI officials, who said the office wasn’t adequately staffed to deal with demand. The situation soon created a backlog and increasingly long wait times for potential gun buyers waiting for check results.
So many background checks were submitted the process that normally usually takes minutes turned into wait times of more than 15 hours… By Sunday, the wait for a processed background check grew to 18 hours, Medina said. By Monday afternoon, it took longer than 21 hours for a check to be processed.
Richard Taylor, manager of Firing Line — which bills itself as Colorado’s largest gun shop and has been active since the mid-1980s — said the store had never been as busy as it was over the weekend, and times for a background check to be processed proved it.
“It’s just been crazy,” he said. “I’m surprised the system didn’t crash, it’s been so busy.”
The rush began Friday afternoon after news of the Sandy Hook shootings broke, Taylor said. Customers coming to the store speculated on how laws could change in the aftermath while browsing the store’s selections, he said.
Assault-style rifles were the most popular gun over the weekend, Taylor said.