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13 Investigates: Recent spike in firearm purchase denials according to CBI


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A little more than 3.5 million legal firearm purchases have taken place in the State of Colorado since the beginning of 2013, according to numbers from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.

However, during that same period, 76,900 firearm purchases were denied by the CBI Firearms InstaCheck Unit following a background check. The Firearms InstaCheck Unit conducts background investigations into each legal firearm purchase, and reviews all concealed weapons permit applications.

The three most common reasons for the purchase of a firearm being denied by CBI are listed as:

  • Past arrests or convictions stemming from assaults
  • Dangerous drug possessions
  • "Other"

According to data, the largest spike in firearm denials was in 2020.

Of the attempted 2020 firearm purchases, 14,227 firearm purchases were denied. That's nearly double of the denials from the previous year. In 2019, 7,069 purchases were denied.

13 Investigates spoke with a Colorado Springs gun shop owner who believes the number of denials might not represent what's really going on.

Paul Paradis, the owner of Paradis Sales, explains that firearm sale denials can be reversed for several reasons.

“Not every denial ends up being permanently denied. When someone is denied, I do an automatic appeal to help them do an appeal," said Paradis. "Probably ten percent of the people that were denied are approved after they did their appeal."

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.



  1. “Other”

    What is cl@ssified as “Other”. You are refusing someone their right to purchase and own a firearm, They deserve to know why they are being refused this right by a explanation more than “Other”.

    1. It’s possible that “other” may be used to cover HIPAA-related reasons, such as current/past mental health issues.

  2. When an ATF 4473 application for firearm purchase is denied by CBI, the applicant is given the exact reason for the denial. The applicant is further given the process to appeal the decision.

  3. TY both for the clarification. I have never had this happen to myself or anyone I personally know so I just needed further understanding. Thank you both, RMC an Monkey.

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