COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Increasing calls for tougher gun laws has created a flurry of activity as people are rushing to purchase firearms in the face of a possible ban on certain weapons and ammunition across the US.
In Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conducts background checks for businesses that sell firearms. Due to the surge in gun sales, CBI reports that their system is completely overwhelmed with requests. This has caused a severe backlog and forced CBI staff to manually track times that gun buyers will have to wait for the return of the inquiries.
The Denver Post reported that the wait time is now more than 100 hours. This means that several thousand customers will have an undetermined number of days to wait until their background check clears.
This condition has caused another unexpected side effect as it comes just before the Tanner Gun Show in Denver this weekend. It is one of Colorado's largest and longest-running shows.
"This is new," Ty Blount, co-owner of the show told the Post. "The process usually takes hours to half a day."
Blount said that he understood that the extended wait may be frustrating to buyers but underscored the importance of dealers conducting proper background checks of customers. He also stated that the wait would be no different if buyers were purchasing from any other retailer right now.
However, gun buyers are not the only ones facing extended hours. Due to the bottleneck, CBI has extended its operating hours from 6 a.m. to midnight to deal with the ever-increasing influx of new background inquiries.
According to CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina, the agency is now processing an unprecedented 3,000 requests per day.
Many Americans have expressed concern about the current state of the country and possible tougher gun laws.
These concerns were echoed by a man who asked only to be identified as Frank. Frank, an Army retiree and Vietnam veteran of two tours, expressed his deep sadness over the shootings in Connecticut and also his outrage at what appears to be the wholesale slaughter of innocent people in these senseless killings.
“I'm a conservative and I was raised in a home with a father who taught me to respect firearms and to value my Constitution,” said Frank. “This is part of the reason I volunteered for 'Nam (sic),” he added.
Frank also said that he believed common citizens should not have access to weapons like the ones used in the mass shootings but expressed his concern that government regulations on those weapons would eventually lead to the complete abridgement of the Second Amendment.
“Our forefathers were thinking into the future when they wrote the Constitution; they were 3,000 years ahead of their time,” he said “They gave us the right to bear and keep arms because they wanted us to be able to protect ourselves but the government is trying more and more to take that ability from us,” said Frank.
Briefly he touched on the Aurora shooting saying that these kinds of things are what is leading to the erosion of the Constitution and could eventually lead to all Americans losing their freedom.
While Frank agreed with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun was a good guy with a gun, he disagreed with posting armed guards around schools unless there was some way to conceal their presence from schoolchildren.
In Frank's opinion, there is no way that these acts can be stopped no matter what the government does. In fact, he believes that taking all guns from citizens will increase acts of violence against them.
“We might as well face it. They (The police) can't be everywhere at once and they can't protect us,” Frank said. “If that was the case, we'd never have successful armed robberies and rapes and things like that. Most of all, those people wouldn't be dead now,” he pointed out.
When asked whether he thought a weapons ban is on the horizon, Frank replied, “I'm not sure what they're gonna do but I'll just say this. I'm a law-abiding citizen, never seen the inside of a jail but there's no way I'll give up the only way I can defend my family. Do you think the bad guys are gonna say, 'Oh! They just banned guns so we better give ours up'? No they're not,” he said. “They'll just declare open season on everyone who was dumb enough to give up their guns because they know, just like I said earlier, the cops can't protect us all.”