Long-time pawnshop owner explains rules and regulations for buying and receiving firearms


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – After Joe Cephus Campbell III, owner of Joe’s Pawn Shop, was arrested along with five other people following a raid last week, the question has arisen as to what the rules and regulations are for buying and selling firearms in a pawn shop.

Larry Barnett, owner and longtime employee of a pawnshop, was able to explain some of these rules and regulations. Barnett has been in the pawnshop business for 58 years and is the owner of Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop.

Barnett says the first thing an owner should do is apply for and obtain a license from the ATF.

“To be an arms dealer, you have to have a federal firearms license,” Barnett said. “They will issue you a license if you pass and are checked properly, you must follow all the restrictions that a normal gun dealer would do.”

The next thing to do is check the items they receive to see if they have been stolen. Barnett says the start of this process is through an online database.

“We have to go into everything we buy. Anything we trade must have entered Leeds,” Barnett said. “They check for stolen items and they check for items people are looking for.”

During the Joe’s Pawn Shop raid, Campbell III was arrested and charged with purchasing/receiving stolen goods, which led to the store being closed. Campbell III is now on $225,000 bond and Marshall County Sheriff Phil Sims says he is cleared to reopen his business.

“At the moment we’re done with the business as far as on-site search and so on, we’ve returned the property to them,” Sheriff Sims said.

It is unclear whether Campbell III will face federal charges as his case is pending in Marshall County.

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