Colo. gun stores saw standout holiday sales

Photo: Shooting range pistol, Colorado gun sales
A 2012 file photo shows Dimitry Lazar at the Firing-Line indoor range and gun shop in Aurora, Colo.

Coloradans bought 36,666 guns last month, according to the state’s background check report. It was the most since March of 2013, when there was a panicked run on firearms following debate about new gun control laws.

Overall, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved 17,929 handgun transactions, or about 98 percent of requests. It reported approving 16,740 long gun transactions, also about 98 percent. “Other” transactions accounted for the balance.

Photo: Gun sales chart 2014
In December 2014, Coloradans bought 36,666 guns.

Assault, burglary, larceny and drug arrests and convictions accounted for most of the transaction denials.

“Prices were outrageous, and everybody was grabbing everything,” said Matt Sebesta, the business manager at Centennial Gun Club. He attributed the high prices to tight supplies.

“It’s started to stabilize now, where I think prices are getting down where it’s more attractive to people now,” Sebesta said.

He says the improving economy and more women buying firearms helped make it a busy holiday season for gun stores.

Some women came in to buy semiautomatic rifles, like the popular AR-15. He remembers one of them clearly.

"It was her Chanukah present to herself, and was just thrilled, it was awesome," Sebesta said.