Commentary

Colorado Gun Sales Skyrocket to All-Time High as New Laws Loom

By Joe Schoffstall | March 22, 2013 | 11:54am EDT

Pro-gun residents of Colorado were preparing for the worst on the gun control front, and on Wednesday Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) reaffirmed that by signing three major gun control measures into law. However, since the introduction of the Assault Weapons Ban legislation, the number of background checks has skyrocketed - doubling over the course of a year.

From December 2011 to February 2012, gun sale background checks totaled 73,603 in Colorado. Of those, 35,468 were long rifles and 38,135 were pistols. For the same period, one year later, the total number of background checks was 147,908 - twice the amount from the three month period from one year earlier. Of those, 67,485 were long guns and 80,423 were pistols.

Denver University finance professor Mac Clouse says this is simply due to supply and demand. "We wouldn't see the demand increase if there weren't a ban, so we're getting a bubble that's caused by that demand increase due to the ban," Clouse told CALL 7.

Richard Taylor, manager of The Firing Line - which is billed as the largest gun shop in Colorado- says manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the high demand.

"Right now, manufacturers are trying to produce as fast as they can, yet I still have empty shelves. Everything that we get in goes out the door almost immediately," said Taylor. He credits Congress for the surge in sales, and said that "business has never been better."

The three gun control measures signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper effectively ban magazines with a capacity of 15 rounds or more, require background checks for firearm sales, and implement a fee for those background checks that covers the cost of the state performing them. The measures will go into effect July 1, 2013. 

(h/t CALL 7)

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