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Gun buyback canceled because of new Colorado gun laws

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Jan. 26, 2013: Hand guns are seen in a box in Trenton, N.J., during a gun buyback event.AP

A planned gun buyback has been canceled at the request of a Colorado sheriff who says the state's new gun laws would make the event nearly impossible to stage.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told the Boulder Daily Camera a strict law that went into effect July 1 requires buyers to go to a licensed firearms dealer and undergo a background check.

The computer systems used in the check are not portable and could not be used at the sheriff's compound where the buyback was planned next month, according to the report.

"The bottom line is what we anticipated doing would still be legal -- but procedurally we can't follow through with it at this time," Pelle told the newspaper.

The group would have to find a licensed firearms dealer to hold the event and then pay the dealer for each transaction, which would be too expensive and too difficult.

Together Colorado -- a group that bills itself as a nonpartisan multi-faith organization -- had planned the event.

In an e-mail announcing the cancellation, Sheila Dierks said: "Sheriff Pelle has stood strong for this event, has done tremendous work to make it happen and he is as disappointed as we are."

Event organizers had planned to give gift cards or tickets to sporting events to people who turned in firearms. Students raised nearly $8,000 to purchase the incentives.

The idea was to collect guns and then immediately hand them over to the Sheriff's Office for destruction. Some of the remnants of the destroyed firearms would then be passed along to Boulder-area metalworking artist Jessica Adams to use for a sculpture aimed at creating gun violence awareness.

Pelle told the Boulder Daily Camera that while he understands organizers may be disappointed by the cancellation, he said the "larger good" is accomplished by requiring background checks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from The Boulder Daily Camera.