DENVER -

 The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is planning to ask lawmakers for $500,000 to help it more quickly process the huge backlog of background checks for gun buyers that has swamped the agency after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
    
The Denver Post reports that in November, it took an average of 23 minutes for a gun buyer in Colorado to get a criminal-background check. The wait time now has stretched to nearly seven days as the CBI struggles with the backlog of more than 11,000 applications.
    
CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina says the supplemental appropriation would be used for more staff and technology.
    
Meanwhile, state Rep. Claire Levy, a Boulder Democrat, has suggested that gun buyers pay a fee for the background checks.