Skip to main content

Gun background checks in Colorado spike after shooting

By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
The public gets its first glimpse of James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting during his initial court appearance Monday, July 23. With his hair dyed reddish-orange, Holmes, here with public defender Tamara Brady, showed little emotion. He is accused of opening fire in a movie theater Friday, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/21/us/gallery/colorado-mourning-victims/index.html' target='_blank'>More photos: Mourning the victims of the Colorado theater massacre</a> The public gets its first glimpse of James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Colorado theater shooting during his initial court appearance Monday, July 23. With his hair dyed reddish-orange, Holmes, here with public defender Tamara Brady, showed little emotion. He is accused of opening fire in a movie theater Friday, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. More photos: Mourning the victims of the Colorado theater massacre
HIDE CAPTION
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
Colorado movie theater shooting
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Background checks jumped 43% over the weekend, Colorado authorities say
  • The figures don't reveal whether actual gun sales rose
  • Background checks also spiked after Virginia Tech and Tucson mass shootings
  • Colorado gun shop employee sees increase in foot traffic, shooting-class enrollment

Washington (CNN) -- In the aftermath of last week's deadly Colorado movie theater shooting, background checks for those wanting to purchase guns in the state spiked more than 40%, authorities said Tuesday.

Data supplied by by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows that from Friday through Sunday, a total of 2,887 people were approved to buy firearms. That's a 43% increase over the previous Friday through Sunday, when 2,012 background checks cleared.

On the Friday and Saturday right after the shooting, more than 1,200 applicants were approved on each of those two days. Figures from earlier in the month showed a low of 820 and a high of 929 approvals on Fridays and Saturdays through the state's InstaCheck unit.

Threats before, after other 'Dark Knight' showings, authorities said

Holmes shows no emotion in court
Analyst Ron Brownstein on gun control
Victim shot in the neck, describes scene
Looking at the Colorado shooting arsenal

Background checks are legally required in Colorado before anyone can buy a firearm at a store or gun show.

Officials did not offer an explanation for why more people applied to buy firearms. But there were also spikes after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 33 people including the shooter died, and the 2011 Tucson, Arizona, shooting that left six people dead and 13 -- including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- wounded.

The new Colorado numbers do not reveal exactly how many guns were bought last weekend. In some cases customers might have bought multiple weapons. But it provides some sense of what is happening.

Opinion: Fear drives opposition to gun control

Some gun shop owners in the state are not surprised by the numbers. Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, Colorado, has experienced a jump in sales. Store employee Jake Meyers said the store is having more foot traffic, and its shooting classes have sold out for the next two months.

The question of whether what is happening in Colorado is mirrored around the country won't be answered until federal data on July background checks is made public in early August.

Gun debate figures into storyline of 'The Dark Knight Rises'

-- CNN's Joe Johns and Ted Metzger contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Meet the victims involved in the Colorado theater massacre through shared photos and read the memories kept alive by their loved ones.
updated 9:59 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
Colorado shooting suspect has offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Fri March 22, 2013
Back in the 1950s, Hollywood fell in love with the idea of truth serum. But it doesn't work the way the movies have made it seem.
updated 9:59 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
Lawyers for James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting suspect, took aim against the state's insanity defense laws in court documents made public Friday.
updated 7:18 AM EST, Tue January 8, 2013
So much blood the theater floor had become slippery. Bodies with horrific injuries. The eerie sound of cell phones ringing, over and over again.
updated 11:34 AM EST, Thu January 3, 2013
Relatives of nine people killed said an invitation to attend an event on the eve of the remodeled complex's reopening is "disgusting."
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Tue July 31, 2012
Colorado movie shooting suspect James Holmes was charged Monday with 24 counts of first-degree murder -- two counts for each of the 12 people killed in the shooting.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
From the silver lining of welcoming a newborn into the world on Tuesday to promising to live life to the fullest, survivors are looking forward.
updated 10:46 AM EDT, Sun July 22, 2012
James E. Holmes is described by those who know him as a quiet, clean-cut doctoral student.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
A heavily armed gunman opened fire at a movie theater on July 20, killing at least 12 and wounding 38. Here are some of the worst U.S. mass shootings since World War II.
updated 2:59 PM EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
Photos of the scene in Aurora after the shooting took place.
updated 9:59 PM EDT, Fri July 20, 2012
A heavily armed gunman sprayed the audience with gunfire during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, killing 12 and wounding 38 others, authorities said.
Are you a friend or family member of one of the victims? Share your tributes here.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT