DENVER — Colorado lawmakers denied extra funding Thursday to help ease a logjam on background checks for firearm purchases, which have increased dramatically in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school as the debate over gun control ramps up.
The Joint Budget Committee voted 4-2 to deny the request for about $455,000 from the Department of Public Safety, meaning people looking to buy firearms will continue to have long waits before making a purchase.
Background checks have typically taken less than an hour, but now they take about a week because more people are interested in buying firearms as lawmakers in Congress and in the state weigh new gun laws.
Three Democrats and one Republican voted to deny the request.
“I don’t believe people who want to buy guns deserve special attention, special funding,” said Boulder Democratic Rep. Claire Levy, a lawmaker on the Joint Budget Committee. She said the funding request, which she called a “sizable amount of money,” would come from the state’s general fund, potentially at the expense of other areas, including schools.