Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - The state senator who campaigned against the citizen initiative that mandated background checks at Colorado gun shows probably wishes he had been more successful.
Sen. Jim Dyer, shopping at the Tanner Gun Show over the weekend, was told he could not buy a weapon because he failed a background check. Apparently, the Littleton Republican has an outstanding warrant in Denver for driving without insurance.
Here's the problem: Dyer was issued the ticket only because he couldn't locate his insurance card after a car accident. He later showed police his proof of insurance, and the case was closed.
Except it wasn't closed on a police computer database, which Dyer discovered in front of laughing gun show patrons.
"I felt like an idiot," Dyer said. "Somebody goofed somewhere along the way."
Dyer said his case shows why the language that "closed the gun show loophole," the 2000 initiative that mandated background checks for gun show buyers, was ill-conceived.
He said a better background check would be to prevent those convicted of a crime from getting a gun, rather than those who are simply charged with a crime, or who, like him, may be the victim of a bureaucratic mix-up.
"How many people are denied for no legitimate reason?" he asked. "This is a classic example of someone being denied a firearm that shouldn't have been."