Gun Culture

Sixteen Colorado Gun Businesses Cited by Feds, Zero Shut Down

Jumping Jack Cash was reportedly cited for eight violations by federal inspectors but received only a warning letter.
Jumping Jack Cash was reportedly cited for eight violations by federal inspectors but received only a warning letter. Google Maps
On June 19, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 21-1298, among the legislature's latest efforts to toughen the state's gun laws — in this case, by expanding background-check requirements related to firearm transfers. But while a new study reveals that background checks blocked a record number of gun sales last year, another report suggests that gun dealers and manufacturers caught violating the law typically receive little more than a wrist slap.

The USA Today project, published late last month, was headlined "The ATF Catches Thousands of Lawbreaking Gun Dealers Every Year. It Shuts Down Very Few." To back up this assertion, USA Today created a massive database of gun dealers and manufacturers inspected by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives between 2015 and 2017. Among the businesses cited are sixteen in Colorado, most with multiple violations — but the only punishment they received was a warning letter.

Background checks definitely make a difference. The advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety recently dug through FBI records and discovered that more than 300,000 potential firearm purchases were prevented in 2020 by the U.S. background check system — a big jump from the 112,000 buys blocked in 2017. A reported 16 percent of the sales ran afoul of state laws, such as extreme-risk protection orders like the ones that became legal in Colorado in 2019, while an additional 12 percent didn't go through because of regulations intended to keep guns away from alleged or convicted domestic-violence perpetrators.

HB21-1298, co-sponsored by representatives Judy Amabile and Steven Woodrow, along with senators Julie Gonzales and Brittany Pettersen, is also known as "Expand Firearm Transfer Background Check Requirements," and summarized with this: "Under existing federal law, a licensed gun dealer may transfer a firearm to another person prior to receiving the results of a required background check if three days have elapsed since the dealer initiated the background check; state law does not generally require a background check prior to a transfer by a licensed gun dealer. The bill establishes a state requirement for a licensed gun dealer to obtain approval for a firearms transfer from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation prior to transferring a firearm."

This statute was not in place during the 2015-2017 period, when sixteen Colorado gun dealers and manufacturers were cited for violations by federal inspectors — and none were shuttered for their infractions. Here are those businesses, along with information about violations and enforcement; see more documentation here.

Aspen Gun Club, LLC
Aspen Valley Shooting Sports
Basalt, CO 81621
Dealer
6 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Code Three, LLC
Code Three Firearms
Highlands Ranch, CO 80130
Manufacturer
9 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Damage Factory LLC
Greenwood Village, CO 80112
Manufacturer
9 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Defcon One Arms
Northglenn, CO 80233
Manufacturer
5 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Ezpawn Colorado Inc
Ezpawn
Northglenn, CO 80233
Pawnbroker
5 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Garretson Enterprises Ltd
Garretson Sports Center
Greeley, CO 80634
Dealer
2 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Gustafson, Mary Jane
Goods For The Woods
Durango, CO 81303
Dealer
9 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Pawnco LLC
Jumping Jack Cash
Thornton, CO 80229
Pawnbroker
8 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Phoenix Weaponry LLC
Longmont, CO 80504
Manufacturer
8 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Price Precision Parts LLC
Broomfield, CO 80020
Manufacturer
2 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

R & S Manufacturing LLC
Aurora, CO 80018
Dealer
2 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Red Hawk Rifles, LLC
Red Hawk Rifles
Grand Junction, CO 81505
Dealer
8 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Rocky Mountain Guns Inc
Aurora, CO 80012
Manufacturer
1 violation
Enforcement: Warning letter

South Platte Operations LLC
South Platte Tactical/South Platte Operations
Brighton, CO 80601
Manufacturer
7 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Viking Armament, Inc.
Grand Junction, CO 81506
Manufacturer
7 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

Wellington Arms LLC
Wellington, CO 80549
Manufacturer
5 violations
Enforcement: Warning letter

The new state law went into effect with Polis's signature. Click to read House Bill 21-1298.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts