Pawn shop owner unsure about returning gun magazines

LONGMONT, Colo. - When Rod Brandenburg opens his downtown Longmont pawn shop Monday morning he will have to decide whether or not he will return high-capacity magazines to owners who pawned their guns.

Brandenburg claims, under the new high-capacity magazine gun law, passed by Colorado lawmakers in March that returning a high capacity magazine would break the law.

Under the law, which goes into effect on July 1, any sale of a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds of ammunition  would be illegal in the state of Colorado.  

"I could go to jail," Brandenburg said Sunday. "If we violate them, knowingly, I could go to jail. I could have several financial penalties and I could have my rights to own a gun revoked for two years, which could put me out of business."

He's called customers of Grandpa's Pawn and Guns, about 50 of them, to let them know about the potential problems the new laws will have on their pawned guns. "Our customers are asking for clarification," he said.

Last week, Brandenburg began calling the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and local sheriff to find out what to do. "I've had no feedback; we've had no instruction. We don't know where we sit right now, as far as the pawn aspect," said Brandenburg. 

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation told 7NEWS to look at guidelines issued by the Colorado Attorney General in May. The technical guidelines, sent to the director of public safety in Colorado, don't  specifically address the pawn problem.

Brandenburg said he read the guidelines, but still doesn't know if giving back a magazine, which is considered a sale, would violate the law.

The 15-round limit is arbitrary and 30-round magazines shouldn't be called "high-capacity" magazines because they're standard for AR-15-type rifles, said Brandenburg, a federally licensed firearms dealer.

7NEWS asked a CBI spokeswoman for more details and clarification on Brandenburg's problem, but so far, we have not heard back.

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