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Impact of Colorado Background Check Law Vastly Overstated

Colorado background check law gun show

The first reports are in, and it appears that the number of background checks that would be conducted under the new Colorado Background Check Law is significantly less than originally estimated.

Passed in 2013 in response to the Newtown mass shooting in Connecticut and the Aurora movie theater shooting in Colorado, a new Colorado law requires background checks for all transfers of firearms between private citizens in the state.

A key piece of research used by legislators when they drafted the law predicted approximately 210,000 background checks would be conducted in the first year after the was was passed. The Daily Camera just reported that after one year, Colorado state officials have conducted about 13,600 background checks for private firearms transfers, or just over 6% of the estimated total.

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Additionally, the 13,600 background checks includes private transfers at gun shows and for interstate online sales, both of which were already required by existing laws before Colorado passed the new regulation. At this point, it's not clear exactly how many background checks were conducted as a direct result of this law, but it's certain that the number is far less than the predicted figure.

Of all of these background checks, there were 260 denials. However, there are no details about the reasons for the denials or how many were the result of the new law.

This is just one more piece of bad news for the Democrats in the Colorado state government who passed this law in such a rush in 2013. Not only are they having to explain to their constituents that they were partly responsible for Magpul leaving the state (and taking hundreds of jobs with it) in response to the new gun control laws while suffering the embarrassment of having two state senators (including the President of the State Senate) recalled by voters angry about the new laws, but now it appears that the law is nowhere near as effective as they promised that it would be.

Though this is not a surprise to anyone even casually familiar with the firearms industry, the fact that less than 10% of all firearm transfers (instead of the 40% touted by anti-gun politicians) were between private citizens apparently came as quite a shock to many of these lawmakers. In reality, the state of Colorado just spent a great deal of time and money to necessarily regulate a very small portion of the firearms trade for very little (if any) benefit to the average citizen. Though this is disappointing news, all things considered, it's not really surprising either.

What do you think about Colorado's new gun control laws? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Impact of Colorado Background Check Law Vastly Overstated