Q. What are the reasons for denial of a CBI background check?

A. In Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the state point of contact for the Brady law background check required by Federal law.  They do a check with NICS and with State records.  They charge a tax for this “service”, which is currently $10, but can be adjusted by CBI up or down as they see fit.   The dealer typically passes this tax is on to the purchaser.

Under Federal law the following persons may not purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, and in most cases are also prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition; a person who  (1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;  (2) is a fugitive from justice;  (3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));  (4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;  (5) who, being an alien—  (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or  (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)));  (6) who  has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;  (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;  (8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that— (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and  (B)  (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or  (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or  (9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Under Colorado law the following persons, who may not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under State or Federal law, will nonetheless fail the background check and be prohibited from purchasing firearms from a dealer:

C.R.S. section 24-22.5-424.  The bureau shall deny a transfer of a firearm to a prospective transferee if the transfer would violate 18 U.S.C. sec. 922 (g) or (n) or result in the violation of any provision of state law, including but not limited to section 18-12-108 (4) (c), C.R.S., involving acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a burglary, arson, or any felony involving the use of force or the use of a deadly weapon.
(b) (I) In addition to the grounds for denial specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), the bureau shall deny a transfer of a firearm if, at any time the bureau transmits the request or searches other databases, information indicates that the prospective transferee:
(A) Has been arrested for or charged with a crime for which the prospective transferee, if convicted, would be prohibited under state or federal law from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm and either there has been no final disposition of the case or the final disposition is not noted in the other databases; or
(B) Is the subject of an indictment, an information, or a felony complaint alleging that the prospective transferee has committed a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a) (20), as amended, and either there has been no final disposition of the case or the final disposition is not noted in the other databases.

In the event you fail a background check due to the problem with incomplete records noted in paragraph (b) it is incumbent upon the person who wishes to buy the gun to contact the agency that CBI has as the source of the incomplete record, and obtain proof that the firearms disability suggested by the incomplete record does not exist.  For example, if CBI says a court in Arizona reports that the buyer was under indictment for a felony, but do not note how the case turned out, the buyer must contact the court in Arizona and obtain proof the case was dismissed, or was plea bargained down to a misdemeanor, or whatever the outcome of the case was.  Of course if the outcome was the buyer was convicted of a felony, just as he was initially charged, there is not much point in the exercise, as the purchase would still be denied.

If you are denied a purchase by the CBI background check the dealer should give you a form which you can use to request the reasons for the denial from CBI.  CBI will not tell the dealer the basis for the denial.   Once you have the reasons for the denial from CBI you can figure out how to solve the problem.  Sometimes it is mistaken identity, but most often, it will be the incomplete records, which would not be a basis for a denial under Federal law, but are the basis for a denial under Colorado law.    If you need help with this kind of issue feel free to drop us a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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