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Jeffco board OKs gun transfer station near Westridge Elementary School

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By Ramsey Scott

Jeffco’s Board of Adjustment has granted approval for a home near Westridge Elementary School in South Jeffco to act as a licensed gun transfer location.

Longtime homeowner Donald Jensen had asked for a special exception to the zoning regulations to allow his home to act as a transfer location for online sales of gun firearms.

When guns are purchased online, the retailer sends the firearms to a licensed transfer station, where the agent completes the background check process using the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database before finalizing the transaction.

Several neighborhood residents spoke against allowing the zoning exception, citing the proximity of the proposed transfer station to the school, which is at 10785 E. Alamo Place. Despite the protests, the Board of Adjustment followed the recommendation of the Jeffco Planning and Zoning Division and approved the exception.

Jeffco Zoning Administrator Mike Chadwick said the board has been approving such transfer stations since about 1996, when they came about as a result of the Brady Bill, a gun control act passed in 1993. In that time, no negative incidents have been reported involving transfer stations.

“Most of the time, in these cases, we might have one or two people that comment against the approval,” Chadwick said. “The BOA can only approve the request for one year. When the owners come back for re-approval after a year, we typically don’t have any negative comments at the hearing.”

There are about 22 of the licensed transfer stations in Jefferson County today.

As part of the regulations, Jensen will not put up any signs promoting his business; will not transfer or sell ammunition; will keep all guns in a safe; and, if he delivers a firearm to a buyer, the gun must have a gun lock during the transfer. Jensen also agreed to not operate his business when school is in session.

Jensen has been working with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to complete the process of becoming a licensed transfer agent, including submitting to background checks himself.

“As part of the process, you have the entire ATF and the (Jeffco) sheriff’s investigation before the AFT issues a license,” Chadwick said.

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.