InstaCheck Numbers Remain Elevated

With the tremendous volume of requests for background checks for firearms transfers, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) InstaCheck Unit is reporting extended wait times for these important public safety checks.

With 12,266 background checks for firearms transfers received in the last week, as compared to 6,499 received in the same timeframe last year, this has resulted in an increase of 89%. The sustained demand has resulted in a queue of 9,257 with an average turnaround time of approximately six calendar days.

Current background check turnaround times for some checks exceed the federal regulation of three *business days, which means it becomes the discretion of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to release firearms outside of this window. However, the CBI strongly encourages firearms dealers to hold firearms until background checks are completed. 

The CBI has implemented changes to address this unprecedented volume of background checks, from expanding internal InstaCheck hours to cross-training specialized staff members to assist in the process; however, these efforts must be balanced with protecting the health and safety of employees and reducing the potential for community spread related to COVID-19. 

Similar spikes and delays in background checks for firearms transfers are being reported nationwide by the FBI and by other states, who perform their own background checks.

The CBI is committed to performing background checks as quickly and efficiently as possible, as evidenced by InstaCheck’s average turnaround of less than eight minutes prior to COVID-19. That being said, the circumstances impacting communities across the state and the nation have posed significant challenges. The CBI continues to implement adjustments to address the demand, and appreciates the patience of FFL’s and their customers.

 *Please note: The 3-day turnaround is based on BUSINESS DAYS (M-F) and excludes holidays. Example: The three business day window for a background check received on Saturday at 10am is Wednesday at midnight.

image credit: MGN online

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