While data indicates that gun sales in Colorado has remained steady over the past two years, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation reports that applications for concealed carry permits nearly doubled for the fist five months of 2016, compared to the same period last year.
The Denver Post reported this week that between January and May 2016, the number of applications recorded across the state was 31,901, up from 16,574 submitted at the same time last year.
The report indicated Colorado certified firearms trainers who teach concealed carry classes believe interest is often linked to current events. The newspaper attributed the increase at least in part to high-profile domestic and foreign terror-related activities, as well as the uptick in gun-control rhetoric during a big presidential election year.
“Any time the Democrats like Obama, or Hillary Clinton now, start talking about guns, people get worried that their Second Amendment rights might be infringed,” state Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley told the newspaper. “They’re doing this to beat the rush.”
It’s not the first time Colorado has seen a marked increase in CCW applications due to public interest in laws and events related to gun ownership for personal and home protection. According to the CBI data, just as a several new firearms restrictions were about to become law and recall efforts of several anti-gun Democrat lawmakers were under way in July 2013 more than 14,000 people applied for concealed-carry permits for the month.
However, the report noted that this year’s spike is the only time there have been more than 5,000 applications per month for five consecutive months, according to CBI data that dates back to 2008.
Earlier this year, the Adams County sheriff’s office — with a jurisdiction that includes parts of Denver, Aurora and Lakewood — added an extra staff day per week to keep up the increased demands for concealed carry permits and renewals.
In Adams County, the office has processed 1,349 new requests and 320 renewals between January and May, up from 785 new requests with 371 renewals for the same time in 2015. In Douglas County, between Denver and Colorado Springs, staff members processed 1,845 permit applications this year through the end of last week, up from 921 in the same time last year.
CBI data on Colorado gun sales May indicate there were 25,450 recorded firearm transactions, up slightly from 25,000 in May 2015.