Colorado Legislative Council Staff



Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0190

Sen. Owen


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 11, 1999

Senate SVMA

Kirk Mlinek (866-4784)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues*

Cash Fund



State Expenditures*

Cash Fund

Cash Fund Exempt





FTE Position Change*

23.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: TABOR

Effective Date: Upon signature of the Governor.

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: The fiscal note implies FY 1999-00 spending authority for the Department of Public Safety, Colorado Bureau of Investigation in the amount of $1,361,527 cash funds and 23.0 FTE and $67,915 cash funds exempt and 1.3 FTE for the executive director's office.

Local Government Impact: Possible impact on the county jails (see State Revenues section).

* At the request of the Joint Budget Committee, the bill serves to both 1) continue the existing program for handguns (12.0 FTE and related funding); and 2) provide funding for 11.0 FTE required to extend the background checks to so-called "long" guns (rifles and shotguns). The incremental cost of adding the 11.0 FTE is shown below.

Summary of Legislation

            The bill authorizes the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in agreement with the federal government, to act as the state point of contact for implementation of the permanent provisions of the federal Brady law. The director of the CBI shall promulgate rules to carry out the necessary duties and to assist in the implementation of the Brady Law provisions.


            The bill specifies a firearm may be transferred to a prospective transferee unless they are the subject of an information or felony complaint, or have been arrested or charged with a crime that, if convicted, would prohibit the person from receiving a firearm. If a transferee is denied a transfer, the CBI is required to provide notice to the law enforcement agencies where the transferee resides and where the transferor conducts business.

            The director of the CBI may establish a fee to cover the direct and indirect costs incurred in processing the instant criminal background checks. The bill permits the director to establish the procedures to collect the fee and creates the Criminal Background Check Cash Fund for the deposit of these fees.

            For those transferees who have been denied a transfer, the bill permits the director of the CBI to promulgate rules to implement an appeals process. The burden of obtaining and providing dispositional information would be on the transferee and the transferor would provide written information prepared by the CBI concerning the procedure of such an appeals review.


            The bill creates a class 1 misdemeanor for any person who fraudulently provides information or obtains a firearm, requests a background check under false pretenses, or disseminates unauthorized information.

State Revenues

            The bill would have a fiscal impact on General Fund revenues and cash fund revenues. The bill establishes a class 1 misdemeanor for anyone who fraudulently provides information or obtains a firearm, requests a background check under false pretenses, or disseminates unauthorized information. A class 1 misdemeanor carries a fine penalty between $500 and $5,000 to be collected and deposited in the state General Fund. Additionally, an offender convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor faces a possible jail sentence to be served in the county jail for a period between six and 18 months. The Judicial Branch does not have current data available to determine the impact that would occur from convictions for this misdemeanor. It is at the discretion of the court whether to impose a fine, a jail sentence, or both, therefore the impact cannot be estimated.

            Additionally, the bill would have an impact on the amount of fees collected from the requirement that applicants pay for a background check. The fee for the background check would be $10.00 per check and it is estimated that 144,000 checks will be requested each year. This estimate is based on the FBI's estimate that long gun sales are two times that of handgun sales. Therefore, this fiscal note estimates that $1,440,000 will be collected and deposited in the Instant Criminal Background Check Cash Fund.

State Expenditures

            The bill would have a fiscal impact on expenditures of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Department of Public Safety. The program specified in the bill has been funded in prior years and conforms to existing federal legislation. Currently, background checks are conducted for handgun purchases only. The implementation of the federal mandates would require background checks on anyone wanting to purchase rifles or shotguns. The CBI has the responsibility to notify the Revisor of Statutes when the federal system is up and running and the CBI is in compliance with the Brady Law. At the time of this notification, the CBI no longer has the statutory authority to implement the instant background check that is required by federal mandate. In order to continue the program and comply with federal law, the CBI would require the funding identified below.

Continue Funding for Existing 12.0 FTE and Related Costs


Cash Funds

Provide Funding for Additional 11.0 FTE Related to Expansion of Background Checks for Long Guns


Cash Funds

CCIC Operating Costs


Cash Funds

Executive Director's Office


Cash Funds Exempt

Total All Costs



Cash Funds

Cash Funds Exempt

            It is assumed that an additional 11.0 FTE and $530,234 cash funds spending authority will be required to accommodate the inclusion of long guns. The source of these funds is the $10 fee paid by the applicant. Said fees will be deposited in the Criminal Background Check Cash Fund. These additional FTE and cash funds spending authority are necessary to conduct the required background checks for persons attempting to purchase long guns. The FBI estimates that for FY 1999-00 a total of 144,000 people will need to have a background check conducted. This number is based on the number of handgun purchases, estimated at 48,000, and the projection that the number of people purchasing long guns will be two times greater than handgun purchases, or an additional 96,000 persons.

            Continuation funding also is provided for 1.0 FTE and related costs in the executive director's office. As a result of adding the aforementioned 11.0 FTE, the executive director's office will increase his staff by 0.3 FTE. Total funding for the executive director is estimated at $67,915 and shall be funded from indirect cost recoveries, a cash funds exempt source.

Expenditures Included

            The following expenditures have been included in this fiscal note:


                      health and life insurance costs ($21,513 for existing FTE; $34,100 for new FTE: and

                      short-term disability costs ($3,877 for existing FTE; $577 for new FTE.

State Appropriations

            This fiscal note implies that in FY 1999-00, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Department of Public Safety, would require spending authority for 23.0 FTE and $1,361,527 cash funds from the Criminal Background Check Cash Fund, and 1.25 FTE and $67,915 cash funds exempt from indirect cost recoveries to implement the provisions of the bill.

Departments Contacted

            Public Safety