In 2013, Colorado began requiring unlicensed transfers of firearms to be preceded by a background check processed by a licensed dealer. The dealer is required to comply with all state and federal laws as if he or she were transferring the firearm from his or her inventory to the prospective transferee. Consequently, the federal law requiring dealers to maintain records of sales applies.1 Colorado law adds that the dealer must provide a copy of the results of the background check to both the unlicensed seller making the firearm transfer, and the party receiving the firearm.2
Colorado law also requires any person or entity engaged in the retail sale of firearms to record each handgun transfer, including the purchaser’s or transferee’s name, age, occupation and address; the make, caliber, finish, and serial number of the handgun; and the date and the name of the transferring employee. These records must be available for inspection by law enforcement “at all times.”3 The time period for retention of these records is unspecified.
An administrative regulation of the Colorado Bureau of Identification (CBI) provides that any information pertaining to an approved individual that is collected or created pursuant to a background check for a firearm transfer must be destroyed within 24 hours of the issuance of the approval. CBI must maintain the transaction number, the date and time of its issuance, and the firearms dealer to whom it was relayed.4
See our Retention of Firearm Sales & Background Check Records policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.