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HB 13-1229: Background Checks for Gun Transfers

HB 13-1229: Background Checks for Gun Transfers

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Background Checks for Gun Transfers
Background Checks for Gun Transfers

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Published by: Senator Mike Johnston on Mar 05, 2013
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Office of Sen. Mike Johnston
Colorado General Assembly | 200 E. Colfax Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 |303.866.4864
F
ACT
S
HEET
M
EMORANDUM
HB 13-1229
Background Checks for Gun TransfersReps. Fields and McCann, Sen. Carroll
Staff Name
: Gideon Irving
What the Bill Does
:Under federal law
1
, all Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) are required to precede anyfirearm transfer with a background check on the prospective transferee via theNational Instant Criminal Background Check System
2
(NICS). The NICS is acomputerized system that can process background checks in as little as a fewminutes. All FFLs in the U.S. are required to keep detailed records of all firearmtransfers, via a Firearms Transaction Record (commonly known as Form 4473) thatincludes a record of the NICS check, name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo-ID of the transferee, make/model/serial number of the firearm, and anaffidavit stating that the transferee is legally eligible to purchase firearms. InColorado, firearm transfers in which the transferor is not licensed do not requirebackground checks unless the transfer occurs at a gun show. This bill requires private (non-FFL/non-licensed) transferors to obtain backgroundchecks for all firearm transfers and subsequently obtain approval of the transferfrom the CBI. Background checks will be arranged through a licensed gun dealerwho can charge a fee of up to $10. This will not be an additional fee on top of theone proposed in HB 1228 since that fee is charged by the CBI to the FLL. The feeunder HB 1229 will just allow the FLL to pass on the cost of the fee to the unlicenseddealer. The licensed dealer will record the firearm transfer in the same detailedmanner as all other transfers.Furthermore, this bill mandates that the clerk of every judicial district and probatecourt report to the CBI the same information it reports to the NICS of specified courtorders relating to mental health and substance abuse.Lastly, this bill sets forth a judicial process for people to petition for relief fromfederal firearms prohibitions, meaning that a person who is federally prohibitedfrom possessing a firearm may apply to become eligible for gun ownership. Ingranting relief to a petitioner, the court shall issue findings that the petitioner is notlikely to endanger public safety and that granting relief to the petitioner is notcontrary to the public interest.
1
Pub,L. 103-159, “The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act”
2
U.S.C. 18 §922(t)
DRAFT 3/5/2013 21:19 a3/p3For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.
 
Colorado Context
:In Colorado, there is no permit required for the purchase of any firearm. Colorado isone of six states that require background checks on all firearm purchases at gunshows
3
, a well-known forum for gun transfers from unlicensed gun sellers. Thereare 1,698 FFLs in Colorado.
4
 The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) serves as the Colorado point of contactfor NICS background checks.
CBI INSTACHECK FIREARM STATISTICS
5
 YearApprovalsPercentDenialsPercentTotal
2010209,25597.44%5,4932.56%214,7482011245,47597.68%5,8322.32%251,3072012335,94097.86%7,3622.14%343,302In U.S. in 2009 a firearm was used in 8 percent of violent crimes, 28 percent of robberies, and 5 percent of assaults.
6
Also, Colorado was one of only 10 states inwhich gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths, 583 deaths to 565 deaths.
7
In 2011, there were 147 murders in Colorado, 73 of which were the result of firearms, a 12 percent increase from 2010, bringing the firearm murder rate to 1.51per 100,000 population.
8
An estimated 40 percent of gun purchasers are notrequired to undergo background checks.
9
National Context
:New York famously passed comprehensive gun legislation, the NY SAFE Act in January. Unlike Colorado, New York requires a permit to purchase any firearm.
Among the NY SAFE Act’s provisions are items pertaining to mental health andprivate background checks, similar to HB 13-1229. The SAFE Act requires mentalhealth professionals to report to local mental health officials when they believe apatient is likely to cause harm to themselves or others. This information is thencrosschecked with a gun registration database and, if the patient possesses a gun,their firearm license is suspended and law enforcement is authorized to remove thegun.
Twenty-nine states including Colorado require psychiatric reporting to theNICS.
The NY SAFE Act requires “all gun transfers between private parties, except
3
http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/gun-show-loophole
4
http://www.atf.gov/about/foia/ffl-list.html
5
http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPS-CBIMain/CBON/1251622199088
6
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=43
7
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/12/18/gun_deaths_in_america_gun_deaths_outpace_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_at_least.html
8
U.S. FBI, “Crime in the U.S. 2011” via:http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state
9
 
http://smartgunlaws.org/background-checks-policy-summary/#footnote_13_5703
10
http://www.bradycampaign.org/stategunlaws/scorecard/NY
11
http://www.governor.ny.gov/2013/gun-reforms
12
http://www.ncsl.org/magazine/trends-and-transitions-march-2013.aspx
DRAFT 3/5/2013 21:19 a3/p3For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.
 
immediate family, to be conducted through a federal firearms licensee,”
causingthem to be subject to an NICS background check, just like HB 13-1229 wouldrequire. Thirteen states require some sort of background check on unlicensed firearm salesthat take place outside of gun shows: CA, CT, HI, IA (handguns only), MD (handgunsand assault weapons), MA (license for all firearms and reporting of all private salesto the state and Dept. of Criminal Justice Information Services), MI (handguns only),NE (handguns only), NJ (permit for handguns and special ID card for rifles andshotguns), NY, NC (handguns only), PA (all firearms except long-barrel guns), andRI.
Bill Provisions
:
Before any person who is not a licensed gun dealer attempts to transfer afirearm, he or she shall require that a background check be conducted of theprospective transferee and subsequently obtain approval of the transfer fromCBI
 The non-licensed gun dealer shall arrange for a licensed dealer to conductthe background check and to keep a detailed record of the transfer in thesame manner as when conducting a retail gun sale. For performing abackground check, a licensed dealer may charge a fee of up to $10.
A prospective firearm transferee shall not accept a firearm until the transferhas been approved by CBI and the background check has been requested
CBI approval of a transfer is valid for up to 30 days
A person who transfers a gun in violation of these provisions may be foundliable for civil damages caused by the transferee’s use of the firearm
Exceptions to this bill include: antique firearm transfers, transfers amongimmediate family members, transfers that occur by law or as the result of executing a will following a death, temporary transfers at a shooting range,shooting competition, while hunting, or in order to repair the firearm
A person who violates this statute commits a class 1 misdemeanor that willbe reported to NICS and is prohibited from possessing a firearm for two years
Each probate court and judicial district in the state must report the sameinformation to CBI that it reports to NICS regarding court orders of mentalhealth and substance abuse and must keep CBI updated regarding changesin information
People may apply for relief from federal firearms bans. In granting relief to apetitioner, the court shall issue findings that the petitioner is not likely toendanger public safety and that granting relief to the petitioner is notcontrary to the public interest.
Fiscal Impact
: The Colorado Legislative Council estimates there will be a fiscal impact of $1.61million in expenditures from the General Fund in FY2013-14 and $1.66 million inFY2014-15. Expenditures increase due to the number of private gun transferswhich are estimated in the fiscal note to increase 10 percent from 200,000 in
13
http://www.governor.ny.gov/2013/gun-reforms
14
 
://smartgunlaws.org/category/state-private-sales-of-guns/
DRAFT 3/5/2013 21:19 a3/p3For a complete list of fact sheets, visitwww.mikejohnston.org/in-the-legislature.

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