Colorado's first quarter firearm background checks have increased 62 percent from their year-ago total, thanks to heightened gun control talk and pending laws passed and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).
According to the FBI's NICS Firearm Background Checks data, 2012 first quarter gun background checks totaled 102,353 in Colorado. This year, the total number of background checks for the same period was 166,398 - an increase of 62.5 percent.
Here are the first quarter 2012 numbers broken down by month:
January 2012 - 30,531
February 2012- 35,411
March 2012 - 36,411
In 2013, for the same period:
January 2013 - 53,121
March - 58,007
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.