Skip to comments.Gun control backers rally at store where sniper's gun was traced
Posted on 11/08/2002 5:34:14 PM PST by Glutton
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - In a rally outside the store to which the rifle used in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper killings was traced, protesters made their case for tougher gun controls.
Inside Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, owner Brian Borgelt offered a $2,000 reward Thursday for information on how the .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15 semiautomatic rifle got out of his control.
Several state legislators joined members of Washington CeaseFire in the wind and rain to push for extending a registration requirement to gun show sales and for requiring ballistics fingerprinting to make it easier to identify firearms used in crimes.
``We can no longer turn our backs ... and look the other way as criminals use Washington's lax laws as easy access to guns,'' said Laura Lockard, executive director of CeaseFire.
Michael Krei, a National Rifle Association field representative, dismissed both proposals ``just the latest antigun initiative out there ... popular with the wine-and-cheesers that can't stand guns.''
Borgelt announced earlier that the sniper rifle was reported stolen on Tuesday.
The carbine was found in the car in which John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo were sleeping when they were arrested for investigation in the sniper killings and has been linked to many of the deaths.
Borgelt, 38, said he could not explain why no one in the store noticed the rifle, which he said was worth about $1,600 including accessories, was missing from July 2 to Oct. 24, when federal investigators asked about it.
``Believe me, no one here wants that answered more than me,'' he said. ``It's one of my burning questions.''
Borgelt said he had never had a break-in at the store. As for employees, ``I'm going to continue to believe in these guys until somebody proves otherwise,'' he said.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents have refused to comment on news reports that the federal agency has found Bull's Eye records and personnel were missing or unable to account for 340 weapons, including the sniper carbine.
Agents are now writing ``a compliance inspection report'' that may include proposed sanctions against the store, ATF spokeswoman Martha Tebbenkamp said Thursday.
A man who is associated with the store and asked not to be identified told The News Tribune of Tacoma the number of guns for which remain unaccounted for has been reduced to fewer than 100.
The gun control advocates said sales of pistols, rifles, shotguns and other firearms at the approximately 60 weapon shows in the state - about 60 shows a year - should be subject to the same background checks that are required at businesses like Bull's Eye.
``I've bought brassieres with inventory tags,'' said Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma. ``How come there's more security there than for buying a gun?''
CeaseFire also is seeking to require that gun manufacturers and distributors send spent cartridges from guns to the State Patrol for ballistics fingerprinting.
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said the requirement would help police link bullets used in crimes to the guns that fired them.
Also unacceptable....I'm making an ignorant assumption that "most" gunshops feature tighter security measures than practised in this store.
If true, it's guys like this that provide cannon fodder for the gun control advocates. Seems to me like this is an example of an existing law that should be enforced.
When I went to buy a gun, the idiot at the shop almost gave it to the wrong guy. He had the wrong guy sign my paper and was about to let him walk out with MY rifle which I had already paid for. If I hadn't been paying attention, someone else would have walked out with my rifle. F^$#ing idiot.