BILL SUMMARY for HB12-1048
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer House Bill 12-1048 to the Committee on Finan||PASS|
05:46 PM -- House Bill 12-1048
Representative Waller, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 12-1048 concerning relieving the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of its statutory duties as a point of contact for the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in cases of firearm transfers. This bill removes the requirement that the CBI in the Department of Public Safety perform background checks for the transfer of firearms. Instead, a gun show vendor is required to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to complete a background check and to verify a prospective owner's identity by checking his or her photo identification. Sheriffs' offices are also directed to contact the FBI directly for background checks for individuals seeking concealed carry permits.
Under the federal Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act of 1993, a criminal background check must be performed each time an individual initiates a firearms purchase from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Established in 1994, the InstaCheck unit of the CBI serves as the state point-of-contact for the NICS program. The NICS is a national system run by the FBI which checks available criminal background records in a variety of databases including the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index, and the NICS Index. These databases are populated by information from local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies.
As a state point-of-contact, CBI staff access NICS electronically in place of FBI personnel to perform background checks for firearms transfers and on behalf of sheriffs for concealed carry permit applications. CBI staff also check three state databases not currently included in NICS: the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles, the Colorado Crime Information Center, and the Integrated Colorado Online Network.
05:53 PM -- Ron Sloan, representing the CBI, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Sloan explained the Colorado Instacheck program and stated his opinion that it provides tremendous value over that of a NICS background check. He referred to a chart comparing the two systems (Attachment F). He expressed his opinion that CBI can further reduce wait times for background checks using planned technology solutions in the near future. He discussed the databases that are queried during a Colorado Instacheck background check and a NICS check. Mr. Sloan discussed denials issued by Colorado Instacheck and NICS and the retrieval of prohibited firearms by law enforcement officers. He went on to discuss the history of the Colorado Instacheck Program. He responded to questions from the committee.
06:16 PM -- Daniel Carey, representing the National Rifle Association, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Carey discussed the savings estimated in the fiscal note. He distributed written materials (Attachment G) and referred to them in his remarks. He responded to a number of Mr. Sloan's comments.
06:20 PM -- Chief George Hughes, representing the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, testified in opposition to the bill. Chief Hughes endorsed the testimony of Mr. Sloan.
06:21 PM -- Sheriff Chris Olson, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. Sheriff Olson discussed the history of the Colorado Instacheck program.
06:23 PM -- Amy Miller, representing the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Miller spoke about the information available to CBI staff that is not available to FBI staff. She provided statistics about background checks. Ms. Miller responded to questions from the committee.
06:27 PM -- Eileen McCarron, representing the Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, testified in opposition to the bill.
06:30 PM -- Robert Edmiston, representing the Firearms Coalition of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Edmiston stated his opinion that concealed carry permit fees and background check fees are unconstitutional and that the NICS does a better job of preserving public safety than the CBI.
06:31 PM -- Joe Neville, representing the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners' Association, testified in support of the bill.
06:32 PM -- Jim Sidebottom, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Sidebottom rebutted some of Mr. Sloan's testimony about background check wait times and about the completeness of court records. He expressed his opinion that fees for background checks represent a tax on a constitutional right and responded to questions from the committee.
06:35 PM -- John Daniel, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Daniel told a story about a teenager who offered to sell his brother an illegal firearm.
Representative Waller wrapped up his presentation of the bill and asked for a favorable recommendation.
|TIME: || 06:42:14 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 12-1048 to the Committee on Finance. The motion passed on a vote of 6-4, with 1 excused.|
Final YES: 6 NO: 4 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.