Colorado Releases New Data On Background Checks

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The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has released new data showing little change in the number of background checks for private firearm transactions before and after a law expanding the checks took effect July 1.

The data released late Friday show there were 3,838 background checks on private transactions that didn't take place at gun shows from July through December 2013, after the new law started requiring background checks for sales between private parties within the state.

However, the data CBI released show that during the same six-month period in 2012 - before the new law - there were 3,854 checks labeled as non-gun-show private transactions.

A CBI spokeswoman did not immediately make clear what were considered private transactions before the law's expansion, but those earlier checks could be from gun sales in which the seller was out of state. Federal law requires background checks on gun sales that cross state lines, which go through a licensed dealer in the buyer's state.

CBI would not answer a request to see which dealers conducted the background checks, saying the information is not subject to public inspection.

Colorado's universal background check law was passed by Democrats without Republican support in response to the 2012 mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School.