Report: Houston is Mexico’s biggest gun supplier

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by Courtney Zubowski/11 News

khou.com

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 11:56 PM

HOUSTON – A year-long investigation by the Washington Post reveals Houston supplies more guns to Mexico than any other Texas city. 

Since President Felipe Calderon came into office in 2006, 30,000 people have died in Mexican drug wars

The highest number of guns seized by police and military at Mexican crime scenes came from Houston-based Carter’s Country, the largest gun dealer in the region, according to the Washington Post investigation.  In the last two years, more than 115 guns linked to Carter’s Country were found across the border, the paper reported.

“I’m angry,” said Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin who represents Carter’s Country owner Bill Carter. “I’m angry because the ATF told the Carters to do this.”

DeGuerin said in 2006, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive went to the Carters and told them that as long as a gun buyer passed a background check, to sell them the gun, even if salespeople sensed something suspicious.

“What Carter’s Country did was at the request of the ATF. They went through with some sales that might have looked a little suspicious.

They did that so they could give the information and the ATF said, ‘we’ll take it from here,’ but what they did with the information, we don’t know,” said DeGuerin.

Houston-based ATF spokeswoman Francesca Perot told 11 News the ATF does not make blanket deals with gun dealers.

“We may have given them authorization on a specific case, but as a practice, the ATF does not give blanket authorization,” said Perot.

Perot said Carter’s Country is one of the largest gun dealers in the region. She said it’s not unusual that a large gun dealer would have some weapons end up in Mexico.

Perot wouldn’t comment when asked whether the ATF looks at the number 115 as too many.

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