Gun show sees heavy traffic despite wait time for Colo. gun buyers

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DENVER –Even though the wait time for Colorado gun buyers to get background checks has increased tremendously after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., people still waited in a line that wrapped around the building at the Tanner Gun Show in Denver Saturday morning.

Long lines and packed parking lots were the scene at the first day of the Tanner Gun  Show, which is being held inside the Denver Merchandise Mart at I-25 & 58th Ave. in unincorporated Adams County.  Tanner is considered the oldest and longest-running gun show in the state.

Most people walking out said the recent Connecticut school tragedy, and possible pending gun legislation were the reasons for wanting to come to the show. 

Some had expressed frustration with the longer wait for a background check.  Earlier in the week, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said 11,000 applications were waiting for review. The C.B.I. has extended its hours and brought over more staff to help.

Jeff Barber visited the gun show to buy a handgun.  Despite knowing that approval is going to take days instead of minutes, Barber said the process itself is painless. 

“It was really easy.  It’s all on a laptop.  I went through there, but it’s going to take 10 days, which I don’t have a problem with one bit," Barber said.

Amidst the crowds was one woman hoisting a sign that favored banning assault weapons.  She said she won’t rest until there is a ban on assault weapons in the state and the country.

The Tanner Gun Show continues on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.        

According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Medina, the CBI is planning to ask lawmakers for $500,000 to help quicken the process of completing background checks that have been pouring into the agency.

Medina said the supplemental appropriation would be used for more staff and technology.