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Documents on gun shop probe may be released

Sean Robinson; The News Tribune

Court documents that could shed light on the criminal investigation of a Tacoma gun shop that once owned a rifle used in the Beltway sniper shootings remained unavailable Thursday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle said the documents may be released today.

The documents involve search warrants executed at Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in downtown Tacoma and at the Lakewood home of Brian Borgelt, owner of the store. Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and from the Internal Revenue Service searched both locations Wednesday.

The searches reflect a criminal investigation into the absence of sales records for guns sold at the shop, officials said. Licensed gun dealers are required to keep track of all firearm sales. IRS agents also are believed to be seeking tax records.

A Bushmaster .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle was shipped to Bull's Eye on July 2. On Oct. 24, the same weapon was found in the car owned by sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad when he was arrested in Maryland along with fellow suspect John Lee Malvo.

Borgelt reported the weapon stolen Nov. 5, after ATF agents appeared at the shop and asked about the gun's whereabouts. In the theft report, Bull's Eye staff members said they never noticed the gun was missing, though it was displayed behind a shop counter, along with multiple accessories.

Sean Robinson, The News Tribune

(Published 12:30AM, December 6th, 2002)

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