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State: New background check law stopped 72 private gun sales to criminals

(Photo: Thinkstock)

(Photo: Thinkstock)

DENVER — A new law requiring background checks on all gun purchases stopped 72 people from trying to buy a gun through a private sale, new state figures released Wednesday reveal.

According to data provided by the Department of Public Safety, 4,792 background checks on private sales have been performed since the new law took effect in July.

Of those, 72 sales “were blocked because the would-be buyer was convicted of or charged with a serious crime, or was under a domestic restraining order,” said State House Democratic spokesman Dean Toda.

The crimes include homicide, sexual assault, assault, dangerous drugs and larceny/theft, he said.

The other 98 percent of sales were to law-abiding citizens and “went through without a hitch,” he said.

“Dozens of criminals would be walking around with a gun right now if not for the new law,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), who sponsored the background checks law with Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Senate President-designate Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora).

“Our intention was to make our communities safer and make it harder for criminals to get guns. We now have five months of data that prove that the law is working.”

When it was being debated last summer, Republicans called the bill burdensome and an infringement on gun owner’s rights.

33 comments

  • J.A. Corley

    Jeff. your comment ” I myself in boot camp refused to give a weapon to a drunk captain from the armory I was guarding.” Proves that you are lying and have never served.

    A PVT having access to the arms room in basic…………. You need to watch better movies.

    Back to topic I have had two of my troops denied on a check in the last six months. Only to get the record straight and purchase a gun later. As has been said there are many “false positives” that happen.

    Taking the first set of data without follow up proves nothing because all 72 of them should have been charged and convicted……..

    Show us how many of the 72 have even been charged. I bet not one. So that means the law is a failure since after they failed and were not arrested they went out and committed more crimes. Just a thought.

  • Hwy

    I am totally in support of ALL the gun laws passed. I realize this will not stop ALL gun violence, but their isn’t a law in existence that prevents ALL crime. That’s just not realistic. So a potential gun purchase requires a minor inconvenience? I’m solidly ok with that. And even if the 72 was cut in half, or even down to one, it’s still a positive. I applaud the legislators for taking on this contentious issue. I realize to some people guns are extremely important, but they should never be held at a higher value than human life.
    No problem with a “Hippy Haven”. Peace.

  • William Beschman Jr.

    How many of the 72 instances cited were all the same person trying multiple times to get a gun? How many criminals simply stole a gun, or used one that they’ve had for a long time? This story is a lame attempt to suggest that bigger government is somehow the solution to our problems.

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