CBI InstaCheck Announces Plan to Address Surge in Background Checks for Firearms

03/17/2020—Due to the extreme volume of requests for background checks for firearms transfers, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) InstaCheck Unit is implementing changes to meet the demand for this critical public safety service, while protecting the health and safety of CBI employees and reducing the potential for community spread related to COVID-19.

With more than 14,000 background checks for firearms transfers received in the last week, as compared to approximately 7,000 checks conducted in the same timeframe last year, the demand has created a current queue of nearly 5,000 checks awaiting processing. While the turnaround time remains within the three business-day period required through federal regulations, the current wait time is approaching two days. Prior to this recent surge, the wait times for firearms background checks for Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and their customers ranged between five and eight minutes. 

Effective immediately, CBI InstaCheck has implemented the following changes to address the high volume of background check requests for firearms transfers:

  • Expanding internal InstaCheck hours of operation. (Public hours of operation remain 9am-9pm; however, examiners are working outside of those hours to reduce the queue.)
  • Cross-training specialized CBI staff members to assist in the background check process off-site to help ensure social distancing related to COVID-19.
  • Retasking employees to InstaCheck who had recently accepted new assignments in other CBI sections.
  • Making some modifications to the submission process for background checks.

The CBI appreciates the patience of FFL’s and their customers as we balance the requirement of providing this service while working to ensure the health and safety of our staff.