Recent shootings, including the one that took the life of a police officer in Limon, are shedding light on what some are calling a major flaw in gun sales in our state. It is forcing lawmakers to consider whether background checks should be more involved.
Some say a 'loophole' in the current system is endangering lives. Others believe the Colorado process is just fine.
"You have to give your complete physical address, driver's license number, social security number," James Palmer with Gene Taylor's explained. "You'll also answer eight or ten questions on your legal status and citizenship."
If you're buying from Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods, or any other store for that matter, you'll have to pass an extensive background check before you are approved. "If you have a felony in your background, you can't own it," Palmer explained. "If you have domestic violence in your background, you can't own it."
At these stores, your information is put into a computer and scanned through the state's and FBI's database. If there are any flags on your name, you won't be able to purchase the firearm.
But, in the private classifieds, there's no law requiring any kind of background check. We put it to the test Friday afternoon, to see if private sales are really exempt.
We scanned the classifieds in Grand Junction and called on a handful of advertisements. When we asked the seller how long a background check would take, we heard the same answer from each of them. "This is a private sell, there is no background check."
They are absolutely right and that is what is scaring some lawmakers. They are calling this the way that convicted felons and other people get around the system.
Recently, Senator Michael Bennet's office was quoted by the Denver Daily News as saying, ?To protect our kids and communities from the dangers of gun violence, we need to better enforce current laws and, where necessary, consider reasonable reforms in order to prevent dangerous and irresponsible individuals from taking advantage of any loopholes in the law.?
During his time as mayor of Denver, Governor John Hickenlooper was the only Colorado member of 'Mayors Against Illegal Guns' according to the Colorado Independent.
Both, however, say they are not trying to restrict your rights, just the rights of the people who would use guns illegally. ?Like most Coloradans, Michael believes the Second Amendment provides a fundamental right to bear arms. He believes we shouldn?t conflate responsible gun owners with those who wish to do others harm,? Bennet's office told the Denver Daily News.
Some private sellers we spoke with agree. "I've often wondered why they didn't, but that's as far as I'm going with the idea," one man told us. "I guess my short answer is 'Yes, there should be some sort of control.'"
John Symanski, an gun owner we spoke with, says it all comes down to common sense. "I would never buy a gun from a private seller because you never know if it was used in a crime," he explained. "And I would never sell to someone privately because I don't know who they really are."
Symanski believes that private sellers should be held accountable for whom they sell guns to. If it means private background checks, he is all for it. "You need some sort of regulation, but I don't know how you would control it."
So far, there has only been talk of possible gun control. Some groups have been asking President Obama to take a deeper look.