It's been a rough patch for Wheat Ridge-based Gunsmoke Guns. First, American Guns, the Discovery Channel show set at the business, was cancelled in what some have interpreted as fallout from the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
And now, the arms-heavy shop has been burglarized, with robbers getting away with a thus-far unknown number of things that go bang. Details below.
Here's the Discovery Channel description of American Guns for the launch of the show's second season:
The Wyatts are your typical suburban family who just happened to own one of the premiere firearms facilities in the world. Rich Wyatt and his wife Renee own Gunsmoke, located outside Denver, Colorado, where they buy, sell and trade guns -- from hand cannons to hunting rifles. And if you don't see what you want, they'll build one for you -- from nothing more than a block of metal. Gunsmoke has the largest and most experienced group of gunsmiths in the state. When the Wyatts aren't building or selling guns, they're shooting them. No gun leaves their shop without being test fired by the family first.
This premise was not especially controversial at the time the program was launched. But according to a Fox News report published in December, American Guns' Facebook page was clobbered in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy. This post is an example:
"I know you all have to make money but would Discovery Channel PLEASE consider ceasing to broadcast the show in the U.K.? Sadly your program makes buying/owning guns seem fun, glamorous, even normal," wrote one. Another tweeted, "Dear Discovery Channel: it's not appropriate showing the program American Guns now!" Another weighed in: "With Discovery shows like 'Sons of Guns', 'American Guns', 'Ted Nugent's Gun Country' etc it's not surprising how guns r seen as acceptable."
Shortly thereafter, the Fox News piece goes on, Discovery announced that the show had been cancelled and would not return for a third season -- this despite a 50 percent ratings increase from season one's debut to the second season launch and a statement from Renee Wyatt that a season three would definitely happen.
Gunsmoke Guns' notoriety remains, and given the amount of firepower inside, it's certainly an unlikely target for scofflaws. Indeed, the most recent crime connected to the store involved one Wylie Newton, who was accused of stealing an antique pistol in New Mexico and then trying to fence it at Gunsmoke.
Continue for more about Gunsmoke Guns, including robbery details, photos and videos. Here's a look at the gun in question -- a Colt Dragoon black powder revolver that dates to the 1800s and is valued at $20,000, according to the Wheat Ridge Police Department. It was stolen from a private museum in New Mexico in December 2011:
That same month, a man named "Wylie" popped up on an episode of American Guns trying to sell a couple of museum-quality antique revolvers. A viewer subsequently alerted police about this cameo appearance, and officers set up a sting operation that ensnared Newton, an Erie resident. He was busted on a New Mexico warrant.
The incident that took place yesterday struck much closer to home. At around 4:12 a.m., according to the Wheat Ridge Police Department, Gunsmoke's silent alarm was triggered. Uniformed officers rushed to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the person or persons who'd set it off were gone.
Still, cops have a pretty good idea how they'd gained entry. There was a big hole in the roof.
Officers later tracked down a witness who reported seeing a silver two-door car leaving the Gunsmoke parking lot around the time the alarm went off, but could provide no description of anyone inside it.
At this writing, we don't know precisely what was taken from the shop -- how many guns or what type. But agents and investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are on the case, assisting the WRPD.
Look below to see an American Guns promo clip, as well as a video in support of the Second Amendment that's posted on Gunsmoke's home page.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Wylie Newton charged with stealing antique gun from museum, trying to sell it on TV."