BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : AUGUST 16, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY

How One Gun Got into the Wrong Hands


It's rare for gun manufacturers to market directly to consumers. Instead, firearms roll off the assembly line into a complex network of retail dealers, wholesale distributors, and lightly regulated gun shows. Here's the path authorities claim was allegedly taken by the Tec-9 used by the shooters in the massacre at a high school in Littleton, Colo., in May:


1.
One of the most lethal firearms civilians can own, the Tec-9 was made by Navegar in Miami. The manufacture of the semiautomatic pistol was banned by Congress in 1994, but thousands remain in circulation.


2.
The gun was sold about five years ago to Zanders Sporting Goods in Baldwin, Ill. Like most wholesalers, it offers a wide range of sporting equipment, from buck knives to shotguns to ammunition.


3.
Next it traveled to Just Guns, a gun shop in Westminster, Colo. When the store went out of business last year, the weapon and other inventory passed to Larry Russell, a creditor in suburban Denver.


4.
Russell then sold the Tec-9 to 22-year-old Mark Manes, left, at the Tanner gun show in Denver last August. Such shows are largely exempt from gun-sale regulations.

5.
Manes resold the Tec-9 for $500 to Littleton shooters Eric Harris, left, and Dylan Klebold, whom he met through a common friend.



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