After the Connecticut tragedy, a record number of Coloradans seeking to buy guns
After the tragic mass shooting in Connecticut on Friday, Governor John Hickenlooper, no stranger to devastation, said the time has come to talk gun control. President Obama has also signaled his interest in policy changes. But thousands of Colorado residents are having a different reaction: They are looking to purchase more firearms -- and in record-setting numbers.
On Saturday, the day after a gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and killed twenty children and six adults, there was a record one-day total of 4,154 firearm background checks submitted at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, officials reported yesterday.
The post-tragedy surge in those seeking guns is not entirely surprising. After the Aurora theater massacre that left twelve dead and dozens more injured in July, Colorado dealers turned in 40 percent more background check requests for gun purchasers in the following days, as compared to the weekend prior. This surge occurred even as Hickenlooper was virtually silent on gun control in the immediate aftermath, saying that it wasn't the right time to talk about policy and that he wasn't sure stricter laws could have stopped someone like suspect James Holmes.
But would a tragedy on the other side of the country have the same kind of impact?
Apparently so, though, CBI notes in a statement that officials aren't implying any causality in these new numbers, saying, "CBI cannot speculate on the reasoning behind this weekend's surge as staff simply processes the requests, and has no interaction with customers."
Officials do confirm that CBI's InstaCheck Unit has been experiencing the highest ever volumes for firearm background checks submitted across the state.
Even thought the 4,154 checks submitted Saturday set a new record, the unit did process 3,001 checks the day before. And the Saturday number is not much far ahead of a record set on Black Friday, November 22, just a few weeks earlier, when 4,028 background checks were processed for firearms purchases.
CBI says that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is experiencing similar volume to CBI's InstaCheck numbers.
Continue for more details on how CBI is handling the unprecedented surge.