Texas Top Seller of US Guns Traced to Mexico

Washington Post probe reveals leading dealers
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2010 9:09 AM CST
An investigator places evidence markers at the site where a man was shot to death in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Thursday Dec. 9, 2010.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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(Newser) – More US guns seized in Mexican drug violence come from Texas than any other state—and more come from Houston than any other Texas city, the Washington Post finds after a year-long investigation. The probe isolated the top 12 US dealers of guns traced to Mexico, and uncovered the biggest: Bill Carter, whose Houston-area chain of stores is the source of more than 115 guns seized in the past 2 years. Of the remaining 11, seven are in Texas, which has 3,800 gun retailers, three are in Arizona, and one is in California.

Drug cartels coming to the US for their guns isn’t new, says an authority—but the volume of high-powered rifles heading south of the border is. Some 60,000 US guns have been seized in the past 4 years. "One of the reasons that Houston is the number one source, you can go to a different gun store for a month and never hit the same gun store," said an ATF agent. While you can buy a 9mm handgun along the border, "if you come to Houston," which has 300 gun retailers, "you can probably buy it cheaper because there's more dealers, there's more competition." (Read more investigative journalism stories.)

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