Don’t Be Fooled, Universal Background Checks Are Working


Another dismayingly slanted story on guns from the Denver Post's Ryan Parker, this time about the results of House Bill 1229, the legislation passed this year requiring background checks be performed on most sales of guns in Colorado:

In the first month of expanded background checks for gun purchases, 561 people who sold guns in private transactions complied with the new law. Ten denials were issued.

And although the numbers represent only the first month's worth of data, the total figure of private checks is far below the percentage of sales that Democrats had claimed were going unchecked…

"It is a good indicator of how micromanaging everyone's life has such small returns," said state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud. "Those 10 denials, if they are even accurate, are not persuasive at all."

As we've noted repeatedly with Parker's substandard reporting on the gun bills passed this year, a huge part of the story is being left out. The biggest problem with reporting these one-month numbers, 561 checks and 10 denials, as "far below what Democrats had claimed were going unchecked" is the simple deterrent effect of having a law requiring background checks in place. Opponents of House Bill 1229 argued that criminals wouldn't submit to background checks they know they'll lose. What these numbers mean is that 561 guns were confirmed to be sold to legal buyers, not to criminals. That's 561 guns that might otherwise have been sold, if not knowingly to criminals, then at least without the buyer's peace of mind knowing they didn't sell a gun to someone who shouldn't have one.

As for the ten attempted gun purchases that were denied? Arguing against that reminds us of Rep. Mark Waller's defense of House Bill 12-1048, which would have eliminated "redundant" state background checks. Colorado passed the CBI background check law after a man named Simon Gonzales bought a gun after a federal check missed the local restraining order. Gonzales proceeded to kill his entire Castle Rock family. Waller argued dismissively for HB12-1048, saying "that one act is the reason that we have this statute on the books."

It just seems wrong to tell a victim of even one shooting a law that might have stopped it is "not persuasive."

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    HAHAHA. All that hype, and political damage, and loss of tourism, loss of jobs: FOR TEN GUNS?!!!

    Spin it all your want, Pols. This is a disaster for the gun control movement. Not only do your laws not make us safer, they're completely useless. You're only inconveniencing law abiding citizens, and this story proves it.

    Hang it up, Pols. Your spin skills are getting weak.

    • Disaster? Blocked 10 gun sales to idiots who should have known they were on the No Guns list. Blocked an unknown number of other sales to people who weren't so dumb. That's not quite 2% of private checks performed, and I'd like to think I don't live in a state where more than perhaps 3-4% of the population overall is both (a) banned from owning a gun and (b) stupid enough to try to buy one and subject himself to a background check.

      Guns-at-every-cost supporters are always going on about how someone can get a gun anywhere. Well, these 10+ people didn't get a gun last month, and it's due to this law.

      How is this a disaster again?

      • Moderatus says:

        Do you know what the biggest loophole is with these stupid gun laws?

        Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas. And a little piece of Oklahoma. Are you going to put up checkpoints?

        Like I said, you've done nothing but inconvenience law abiding citizens.

    • BlueCat says:

      Evidence of tourism loss please? Here's the thing. 10 a month would be about 120 a year. That's 120 more than the number of documented cases of successful voter fraud you can show us yet you people keep urging more hurdles and burdens to prevent something you can't offer a single example of. Hurdles and burdens that most of your own party's County Clerks have done an apparently completely successful job without. 

      That's not too burdensome for you. But private transaction checks that actually have prevented people who shouldn't have guns from buying them is an outrageous burden. Yeah. Right. 

    • langelomisterioso says:

      AS far as I can see about the only "tourists" who'd be discouraged are psychopaths like yourself and I'd just as soon they stayed out of Colorado.If that's the best you've got your spin skills are little better than Pols.How are "law abiding citizens"inconvenienced by abiding by the law? Seems altogether less inconvenient than the picture ID wingnuts want everyone to have in order to cast a legal ballot and I've yet to hear of a fatal driveby balloting or of a school full of children, or a theater full of citizens being killed by illegal balloting.

    • ajb says:

      That explains why applications for hunting tags are down so much.

    • Davie says:

      Hmm, but if you could positively point to 10 fraudulent votes prevented by a voter ID law (that prevented thousands of legitimate citizens from voting), you'd be creaming your pants from joy and excitement, right?

      Just wanted to do a comparison on the hypocrisy scale 🙂

  2. rathmone says:

    I would like to drive really, really fast all the time…but I don't.

  3. poisonvamp says:

    And the biggest problem with your reporting and the rest of the media is they leave out important details about the bill. HB 1229 not only requires background checks for transfers of ownership but also just lending a gun to someone in a lot of cases. Had this bill been written for transfer of ownership I think there would have been a lot less contraversy.

    • langelomisterioso says:

      You seem to have left out some important details too . Where is the language requiring background checks for the loan of a firearm? Since that pertains in"lots of cases"
      I'd think you'd be only too delighted to point out precisely the faults of this legislation and since it's lots of cases, it ought to be easy,but you've not done that. Why is that?

      • poisonvamp says:

        Obviously you haven't read the bill. "18-12-112. Private firearms transfers – background check required – penalty – definitions. (1) (a) ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 2013, EXCEPT AS DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (6) OF THIS SECTION, BEFORE ANY PERSON WHO IS NOT A LICENSED GUN DEALER, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 12-26.1-106 (6), C.R.S., TRANSFERS OR ATTEMPTS TO TRANSFER POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO A TRANSFEREE, HE OR SHE SHALL:"
        It says nothing about transfer of ownership. It says transfer of possession. In law possession is not the same as ownership. (see In fact that bill even adds some limited exceptions for "(e) A TEMPORARY TRANSFER OF POSSESSION WITHOUT TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OR A TITLE TO OWNERSHIP,".

        Here are things that are now illegal:

        1.) I live with anyone that is not an immediate family member, they have access to the safe, I am out of town for more than 72 hours.

        2.) I loan someone a firearm and they are hunting for more than 72 hours, and I am not hunting with them.

        3.) Storage of any firearm for a person who is in the armed forces while they are deployed if I am not an immediate family member.

        There are endless variations of all of these.

  4. nota33 says:

    These radical gun toting wingnuts are morons. We do not care if magpul is leaving. I say good riddance and get lost.

  5. Negev says:

    How do they know which transfers are private and which are not? Technically wouldn't EVERY transfer be recorded as dealer transfer?

  6. divad says:

    I sure hope those two in the picture got their backgrounds checked. 

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