Delays in issuing background checks, which are required for all firearm purchases in Colorado, have increased as fears of coronavirus have escalated, prompting Colorado Republican House leader Patrick Neville to call the “drawn-out wait times” for background checks “unacceptable.”
Conducting a background check recently required more than 48 hours, and 5,000 people Coloradans were waiting in line as of March 17.
“While I warned constituents we could see longer than normal wait times due to COVID-19, I also urged [the state of Colorado] to prepare for this well in advance,” wrote Neville in his statement, which was distributed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a hard-line pro-gun group.
“However, these drawn out wait times are unacceptable,” wrote Neville, who represents the Castle Rock area. “Today, I am calling on the governor and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to do whatever necessary to shorten the lines and expedite the process for a quick checkout.”
It usually takes about 10 minutes to obtain Colorado background checks, which are issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Neville didn’t return a call asking why he thought a two-day delay was “unacceptable,” given all the other issues faced by the state at this time–and whether he’d received a response from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which later stated the delay was due to volume of requests and protections for worker safety.
The Denver Post reported that from March 10 -17, the number of gun permits requests had doubled from last year, from about 14,600 to about 7,400.
Neville has expressed concern for the economy during the coronavirus outbreak as well, tweeting Thursday, “If we can NOT weaken the dollar, that would be great,” in response to news that Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was considering checks of $1,200 for Americans.
Over the weekend, Neville also participated in a drive to collect personal protective equipment for distribution in Colorado.
The effort was initiated by Democratic House leader Alec Garnett of Denver and Neville.
Correction: This post initially stated CBI issues gun permits. It actually conducts background checks for gun transfers.