Colorado processing over 10,000 background checks as AR-15 sales skyrocket

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WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — If you want to purchase an assault rifle in Colorado these days, patience better be among your virtues.

Normally, state officials say they would be processing about 100 background checks this time of year. As of Thursday, the state was trying to process over 10,000 background checks for gun buyers.

With that being the case, the average wait time for the completion of a background check is about 100 hours — up from the typical average of a couple of minutes.

But if you’re getting that background check in order to purchase an AR-15 or any other sort of assault-style weapon or ammunition, you could be waiting a lot longer.

“Let me show you an AR-15,” Gunsmoke owner Bob Kiggins jested. “Oh wait, I can’t.”

The vast majority of gun shops in Colorado are sold out of assault-style weapons. This is in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting and ahead of a conversation President Barack Obama has promised to strike up about stricter gun control laws.

There is speculation that the aforementioned conversation could focus on banning these assault-style weapons.

So why do these eager customers say they need assault rifles? Most say it’s all about safety.

“I’m concerned about the direction our country is going,” one gun buyer said as he left Kiggins’ store. “Everything I want to do with these weapons is in the name of safety. And now (the government) wants to dumb us down.”

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