1-day record for gun checks
By Marilyn Robinson , Special to the Rocky Monday, December 24, 2007
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation's instant background check, required on all gun purchases from licensed firearms dealers, set a one-day record in November and officials have their sights on hitting a record for the year.
The CBI's InstaCheck program handled 1,306 checks in 12 hours on the day after Thanksgiving, so-called Black Friday for its potential to put retailers in the black for the year. The previous record was 1,234, set last December. Last year's Black Friday total was 1,184. Now, with only a few days until year's end, InstaCheck appears on target to meet or top last year's record of 161,366 checks. The system checks for a gun buyer's criminal record, restraining orders and mental health issues before a sale is approved.
"Black Friday is always a busy day," said Susan Kitchen, who retired Nov. 30 as agent-in-charge of the InstaCheck program. "Christmas is a big time day for gun sales. So is Valentine's Day."
CBI spokesman Lance Clem said he couldn't speculate on the reason gun sales are up but acknowledged that the state's population growth could be a factor. The number of checks, he noted, doesn't represent the number of firearms sold. "Someone can buy more than one" at the same time, he said.
InstaCheck has been around in Colorado since 1994. The CBI got out of the business on April 1, 1999, after the FBI came online. But then came the killings at Columbine High School - until recently the worst school shooting in U.S. history - and the killing of three children by their father in Castle Rock. "It was something we would have denied," Kitchen said of the father's gun purchase.
CBI reinstated its InstaCheck program before the year was out. InstaCheck workers check a number of databases starting with the Department of Motor Vehicles. A number of state and federal databases follow. Even immigration records may be checked. Kitchen still chuckles about the results in one case. A man who was denied and appealed was told to get fingerprinted at his local law enforcement agency.
Instead, she said, "he made his own prints, bordering the letter with ballpoint pen prints."
The number of denials has dropped from 6.55 percent in 1999 to 3.07 percent last year. In most cases, there's no way to tell what violence the denial rate may have prevented. The program has 21 full-time employees and four temporary workers. During the first nine months of the year, it too an average of 20 minutes to reach the program when people called. The time for the check itself averaged 15 minutes.
But more than 80 percent of the inquiries com on the Internet, Kitchen said. The number of applicants on Black Friday surprised workers. People had to wait as much as 68 minutes to talk to someone, and the average time to get through the check after that was more than 37 minutes, Clem said. But that was better than the previous year, when it took up to 102 minutes to speak to a worker and then an hour to get through the check.
While gun checks are up, some business owners say sales, at least at the local level, haven't kept pace. "The economy is definitely down," said Dave Anver, who operated Dave's Guns in Denver for 22 years before closing the doors in October. "A gun is kind of a luxury item. Outside of law enforcement, a gun is not a necessity." Anver said he closed because he could no longer compete with national chains.
Friday after Thanksgiving:
1,306 checks on Black Friday, Nov. 23
1,184 checks on Black Friday in 2006
161,366total checks in 2006
* 3.07 percent in 2006
* 6.55 percent in 1999
Average time for each call:
* 20 minutes to reach the program
* 15 minutes for the check
Number of employees:
* 21 full-time and 4 temporary workers
December 24, 2007, 12:30 PM
(I'd try to find a link to the original RMN article, but it takes a significant part of forever to load their site on this old hand-cranked computer with a 28.8 connection.)
Wow. I am surprised your computer even runs still. ;) 56k modems became standard over 10 years ago. What operating system are you running?
Not that it would be a huge improvement, but you could get a 56k modem shipped to your door step for about $10. Its twice as fast as a 28.8.
December 24, 2007, 12:43 PM
try bandwidthplace.com. for a actual reading of you speed. mine just now is 7.32 mega. slow, but the kids are on vacation now. 28.8 aint even up to .32....crank faster!
December 24, 2007, 01:11 PM
Thank you, Bruce 333 ! I knew someone would come to the rescue.
Kind of an aside, but by way of explanation...
(A) I refuse to go cable, I get enough entertainment just by talking a walk and looking around and saying hello to folks.
(B) Twenty-eight-eight is a telephone company limitation out here. That's all they'll guarantee, and that's all you get for the base price. I'm a World-Class Champion Cheapskate, especially when it comes to the telephone company.
(C) I get a lot of other stuff done around the house while I wait for my gun pron to download. Sort of like getting other stuff done at work when you're on hold. A higher "production rate" on the machine does not mean a higher overall "production rate." And some sites are so full of the latest and greatest gewgaws and gimcracks that I don't want to bother with them. (My machine at work is a screamer with a screaming connection, though. Now that's where production rate is a concern.)
Jes' li'l ole me, I guess. I put the Fud in Fuddy-Duddy. At least at home, where I come to relax and live.
December 24, 2007, 01:51 PM
When I was on D/u, I seldom connected faster than 28k even with the so called faster modem which by government regulation was limited to 50k anyway.Now I can download a full length movie faster than it takes to watch it...I have no idea where some of these people are getting these movies but I had Mr Brooks , Live Free or Die Hard , Firewall and The Kingdom before they were released in theatres. also got the Bourne Ultimatim but it was in Japanese with Japanese sub-titles...drat
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