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Owner who sold gun used in Newtown school massacre pleads to unrelated charge

Posted Aug 23, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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David LaGuercia, the owner of the gun store that sold the rifle used in the Newtown school massacre, has pleaded guilty to federal charges from gun sales to other customers.

LaGuercia's Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor, Conn., was raided in the days following the shooting. During the investigation, federal officials charged LaGuercia with failing to maintain proper firearm records.

He pleaded Thursday to transferring a firearm before completing a background check, failing to maintain proper firearm records, and his company, through LaGuercia, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making false entries to dealer records, according to a report by the (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News.

The paper notes that none of the charges relate to the sale of the Bushmaster rifle and a SIG Sauer pistol found at the scene of the Dec. 14 shooting by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 people including 20 children were killed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Spector told the court that there is evidence that LaGuercia was transferring handguns to a dealer in Massachusetts, who was selling handguns illegally.

The Journal News had previously reported that federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents found more than 500 violations of federal firearms laws and regulations at the Connecticut gun store dating back to 2007. An employee of LaGuercia's store pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor gun sales charge, a separate Journal News story notes.

LaGuercia, is likely to receive a sentence of probation, though he could face fines, will lose his license to sell firearms for five years, and he must sell any remaining firearms inventory.

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