(CBS4) – Thousands of Coloradans continue to stock up on guns during the coronavirus pandemic. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it received more than 12,000 background checks for firearms last week. That’s nearly double the number the agency had last year at this time.
Because of the spike, background checks are taking longer to process. Before COVID-19, the average turnaround time was less than 8 minutes. It’s now almost a week.
“The sustained demand in Colorado has resulted in a queue of 9,257 with an average turnaround time of approximately six calendar days,” officials stated Tuesday. “Similar spikes and delays in background checks for firearms transfers are being reported nationwide by the FBI and by other states.”
Because current background check turnaround times for some checks exceed the federal regulation of three business days, dealers may choose to release the firearm before the results are back. 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,” officials stated.
Officials said similar spikes and delays in background checks are being reported by other states and nationwide by the FBI.