Arizona gun shops linked to drug violence in Mexico

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PHEONIX - A new investigation reveals drug cartel violence is being fueled by guns sold in Phoenix.

The information has been kept private since 2003 under federal law but was uncovered by a Washington Post investigation.

Washington Post Staff Reporter Sari Horwitz, who spent a year working on the investigation, says, “We wanted to get behind that prohibition that makes all of this info secret and look at the data and find out where these guns are coming from."

The investigation links guns that wind up across the border in Mexico back to the United States stores where they were sold.

Three Arizona stores are on the list of dealers with the most traces to crime scenes in Mexico. The findings showed 185 guns were traced from crime scenes in Mexico to Lone Wolf Trading in Glendale.

One-hundred-thirty guns were traced to J&G Sales in Prescott and 55 guns were traced back to Sprague’s Sports in Yuma.

3TV contacted Lone Wolf for comment on this story but the owner has not returned our call.

Brad Desaye, the president of J&G Sales, says the store is diligent about not selling guns to suspicious purchasers.

“Desaye says, “130 guns over a two-year-period…it’s very sad to see. That said, as far as the number of firearms we’ve sold, it’s far less that 1%, far far less.”

Law enforcement says gun dealers are usually not at fault in these cases. A lot of times a drug cartel will recruit someone with a clean background to purchase the weapon for him.

An Arizona gun dealer is only required to ask a buyer for identification and have them fill out a federal eligibility form according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Dealers are also required to report a person if he or she buys more than two handguns in a five-day period although they are not required to report multiple purchases of long guns like AK-47s.

To read the entire investigation, go Washington Post.