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The Sturm, Ruger & Co. 9mm gun ended up with Bedell, 36, not long before he opened fire at the Pentagon's Metro entrance March 4, officials said. Law enforcement officials aren't sure how Bedell got the weapon, but they were able to track it to a Las Vegas gun show, where it was sold last year to a private individual.
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That person, authorities said, sold the gun to a third person, and the trail went cold there until police found it in Bedell's hands outside the Pentagon.
In most cases, private transactions at gun shows and other venues do not require sellers to have licenses or maintain records, deeming the sales unregulated, and would not have had Bedell — who had a history of mental illness — undergo the kind of background check he might have faced at a store. The discovery that one of Bedell's guns passed through the Memphis Police Department was first reported by the Associated Press on Sunday. Read more