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Pawn shop owner shuts doors over the state's gun control bills

Pawn shop owner shuts doors over the state's gun control bil

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Colorado's new gun law forced one business owner to make a big decision Tuesday.

The owner of Fountain's Great American Pawn said he would close his doors July 1 in light of the new gun control bills recently signed into law.

Gun sales make up a majority of shop owner Thomas Gautreaux's bottom line. He will close his shop the same day the new bill limiting magazine sizes does into effect.

Gautreaux has kept a close eye on the state's new gun laws. One by one, he's cleared guns from his store shelves. He's sold almost all his guns. The majority of his remaining inventory is collectible firearms.

He took over Great American Pawn at 404 N. Santa Fe Ave. in Fountain four years ago. He said if he kept his doors open, he would be hit hard by the new law limiting magazine sizes.

"This magazine, after July 1, I won't be able to sell anymore," said Gautreaux. "If someone came in with a pawn with a 15-round magazine, I couldn't pawn it because I couldn't give it back to him and couldn't sell it to anybody after July 1."

Gautreaux said a majority of his sales are assault rifles and firearms with magazines over 15 rounds. He worries about the future for people who making a living selling firearms.

"It would maybe he feasible right now but more gun laws are coming. They got away with this so they're pushing further to see what they can get away with," said Gautreaux.

He said almost all of this customers are unhappy with recent gun legislation.

"[It's] not just people in Boulder and Denver that run the state," said Gautreaux. "There are a lot of rural people that like their guns."

Gautreaux retired from the Army several years ago. He bought the pawn shop and started over. He said if he started over once, he can do it again.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two other bills in March in addition to the magazine limits. One requires universal background checks. The other one charges gun buyers $10 for background checks.

Gautreaux said even if future legislatures repeal the new gun laws, he won't reopen his shop.

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