Staff Cuts, Strong Demand Delay Va. Gun Background Checks

April 5, 2010

Background checks for firearm purchases in Virginia are taking longer because of state police staff cuts and strong demand for guns.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the agency's Virginia Firearms Transaction Center has lost 11 employees since May 2009.

Meanwhile, demand is rising. Between 2000 and 2009, firearms transactions in Virginia increased from 182,170 to 287,462.

During peak periods, Geller says background checks can now take to four to six hours to complete. Some that require research into out-of-state records take overnight.

Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave says the delays are costing dealers money and putting at risk people who need firearms for protection.

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