Ten AK-47 assault rifles have been seized at a pawn shop near Los Angeles and authorities believe the weapons were illegally imported into California, officials said Saturday.
Local and federal law enforcement officers raided Bright Spot pawn shop in Glen Avon, about 70 kilometers east of Los Angeles, making no arrests, but authorities would seek charges against the owner of the weapons.
Police and officers with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms executed the search warrant at the shop Friday after having received information that illegal AK-47s were being sold there, according to a statement by police.
The case will be forwarded to the Riverside County District Attorney, seeking charges against the owner of these weapons while the authorities are continuing an investigation.
Although AK-47s are popular in the assault rifle market, such weapons are not legal for most Americans, say gun control advocates who feel there is no reason for hobbyists to own such potentially-destructive guns.
However, Jeff Russo, who identified himself as the owner of thepawn shop, reportedly said Saturday that the seizure was based on misguided legal assumptions and he thinks the weapons will be returned.
"There's a very gray area in the law as to whether they are legal," said the shop owner. "In this country, it's supposed to be we're innocent until proven guilty."