Sunday, February 22, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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The Life Of A Gun

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

Seattle police trace street guns at a rate of about two a day. Every one has a story. This is the story of gun No. 630-682, Model J-22.

Like hundreds of others, this gun entered the illegal street market, which dramatically escalated its cost to society. The price:

-- One man's life.

-- Three young people's futures.

-- Nearly $3 million in taxpayer money.

-- $52 wholesale.

The chrome-plated Jennings .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol is cold to the touch and about as heavy as a cue ball. Loaded, it weighs twice as much.

When it was new, you could see yourself in the luster of its barrel. It is a mere 5 inches long - dubbed a "little pocket pistol" by the man for whom it is named.

Beneath the hollow grip is a small opening where a fully loaded carbon steel clip, about 3 inches long and an inch wide, is shoved into place.

Pull the sliding top back, and an inch of slender steel barrel tip, the diameter of a drinking straw, is exposed. Spring the top forward and one of six .22-caliber bullets with lead slugs the size of a pea is ready to fire.

It is one of 900,000 identical guns made in the past 20 years - one of 79,140 made in 1989 at a now-defunct California factory.

The only thing special about this one is its serial number: 630-682.

It traveled a common path - from factory to wholesaler to dealer - until it was bought by a man from Lake Forest Park, just north of Seattle.

For years, it lay tucked in his dresser drawer, hauled out for occasional target practice.

A year ago last week, it was stolen from the man's apartment and used to rob a gun store in East Wenatchee.

An ordinary handgun - worth $52 wholesale - it was used to put about 45 other weapons on Seattle's street market.

Along the way, it cost a man his life, a family their patriarch, three people their freedom and taxpayers nearly $3 million.

If guns are born, the life of the Jennings .22-caliber semiautomatic began in a vat of molten metal at a Los Angeles die-casting company.

The metal for the frame and top slide was poured into casts, hardened and then stamped with a serial number.

It was shipped to Calwestco, in Chino, Calif., where the intricate parts - firing pin and spring, slide retainer, trigger and trigger bar, black plastic grip plates - were pieced together.

It received a brushed-chrome finish at a nearby plant before the 2 1/2-inch barrel was drilled. It was test fired, then packed in a small blue box with an instruction sheet.

Some gun experts call the J-22 a "stamp gun" because of its cheap, cookie-cutter assembly. Area retailers sell it new for about $80. Used, it might sell for $30 or less.

A May 1996 review of the J-22 in Gun Tests magazine refused to recommend it "due to the large number of malfunctions," and few Seattle-area firing ranges keep it in stock to test fire.

But Bruce Jennings, president of B.L. Jennings, insists it is a quality firearm.

"They do what they're supposed to do," he says. "And that's fire bullets."

It took no more than a few weeks for J-22 No. 630-682 to move from the plant in California to a warehouse in Nevada to a wholesaler in Oregon to a glass case at Sky Valley Gun and Tackle in Monroe, 30 miles northeast of Seattle.

There it sat for 47 days until, on Jan. 6, 1990, Ralph Chard walked in and bought it - "probably for protection," says his daughter, Valerie. Chard, then 30, added it to a collection of rifles he kept at his Lake Forest Park apartment.

Ralph Chard couldn't be reached to tell the story of his J-22. The account that follows was gathered from police reports, court documents, interviews with several law-enforcement officials, and prison interviews with Valerie Chard and Miranda Johnson.

Valerie Chard was 12 when her father brought the J-22 home. She remembers that he stuck the handgun in a dresser drawer in his bedroom, where it mostly sat for the next eight years. "One time, he took us to our grandmother's house in Monroe, and we went out and shot at cans," Chard says.

By the time she was a teenager, Valerie Chard was a kid dancing on the edge of trouble. The oldest of four children, she had an early childhood marked by frequent moves and sexual abuse. Her parents divorced when she was 9, and she bounced between her mother's mobile home in Gold Bar and her father's apartment in Lake Forest Park.

At 14, she broke into a neighbor's home in Snohomish for a pack of cigarettes. She was caught riding in a stolen car. She entered Shorecrest High School, but never made it past 10th grade.

At Shorecrest, Chard made friends with Miranda Johnson, a younger girl who also toyed with the law. Over the next few years, Johnson would twice plead guilty to stealing a car and was arrested on a separate theft charge.

The girls took up with a young-but-veteran criminal. Thomas Davis was 19 at the time and already had an impressive record of arrests. He had stolen a pickup, a Porsche, a motorcycle, a mountain bike and a Corvette.

He had spent time in the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Center, escaped, but was soon caught and served more than a year. Before another year passed, he again was arrested for stealing another pickup and some credit cards. He went back to jail for 10 months.

At one point, he adopted an alias - Mathew Alex Wilson - a name he would give police and use on bad checks.

"We were always together," Chard says. "We'd drink, hang out with friends in Seattle, smoke weed, break into houses. We'd take anything we could find, money, purses, stereos, guns - anything we could sell real quick."

Davis had been out of jail just three months when, on Jan. 20, 1997, he celebrated his 21st birthday by cruising the Monroe-Sultan area with two friends, looking for churches to rob. He picked up Vicki Lynn Tucker, 39, a Sultan woman who was hitchhiking on Highway 2.

The men beat Tucker, then Davis kicked her out of the car, ran her over and shot her in the head with a sawed-off shotgun as she begged for mercy.

It would be seven months - and another murder - before Davis was charged in Tucker's death.

In the meantime, he grew desperate for money. Chard would later recall that Davis said gang friends told him if he could get his hands on some guns, they would buy them. He wanted the girls to go along.

Both girls knew Davis had killed Tucker. Chard says Davis had threatened to kill her if she ever told.

"That scared me," Chard says. "I knew what he was capable of."

She agreed to drive her beat-up 1979 Mercury Marquis on a gun-scouting mission.

It was mid-February a year ago when the three drove east out of Everett on Highway 2 for four hours. When they pulled into Wenatchee, Davis told Chard to head to neighboring East Wenatchee to a part of town known as Baker Flats, where he knew of a small gun shop.

Sisson Shooters Supplies was tucked away from neighbors, run out of the home of owner Darrel Eugene Sisson. Davis and the girls did a quick case, and figured it would be easy to rob.

Davis told the girls he needed a small, quiet pistol.

"Then Valerie said, `Well, my dad has one,' " Johnson would later recall. "And Tom said, `Oh, really?' "

The conversation about obtaining a handgun was quick and private. But it is being echoed across the country as part of a growing trend connecting young people and guns.

In July, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) released findings of the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative. The nationwide study examined more than 37,000 gun-trace requests in 17 cities, including Seattle, from July 1996 to April 1997.

A gun-trace request is made by police when a firearm is used in a crime, recovered under a search warrant, turned in as part of a "buy-back" program or found on the illegal street market. The study found a correlation between possession of semiautomatic weapons and youth crime.

For example, for every 10 so-called "crime guns" recovered, six were semiautomatic pistols - the same class of guns as the J-22 - and in the hands of people 24 or younger.

During the study period, Seattle police traced 487 guns and learned the possessor's age for 336 of them. About 20 percent of those - or 69 guns - had been in the hands of people 17 or younger.

Only Memphis, Tenn., showed a higher rate of guns in the hands of young people.

"Twenty percent sounds high," said Lt. Dale Drain, with the Seattle Police Department's gang unit. "But the actual number of individuals is still relatively small compared to the other cities."

In fact, Seattle showed the lowest overall number of crime guns per capita - one per 1,077 people. The worst city was Salinas, Calif., with one crime gun per 74 people.

Since the study began in July 1996, Seattle police have continued to trace crime guns at the rate of about two a day, says Detective Ed Harris of the Seattle Police Department's gang unit.

Valerie Chard made sure her father wasn't home before sneaking into his apartment to get his gun. Once inside, she grew nervous and left empty-handed.

"I really didn't want to find it," she would later say. "I really didn't want to put my dad through any unnecessary hardship."

But Davis talked her back around. Together they returned to the apartment. Davis rummaged through Ralph Chard's bedroom and found some rifles. He nabbed five of them but kept looking. Finally he stuck his hand in Ralph Chard's dresser drawer and pulled out the J-22.

At that moment, the little Jennings semiautomatic entered Seattle's street market.

Home burglary and car prowls are among the most common ways legal guns join the illegal market, Harris says. According to the national study, most crime guns recovered in Seattle had originally been purchased legally in Washington state.

"Sometimes, it's as easy as a youth sneaking a gun out of their parents' house," Harris says.

And most of the guns traced follow the rather routine path of the J-22.

"Most of the traces are real short," Harris said. "It goes from the manufacturer to importer to gun shop to the first owner, to maybe a second owner, then in the hands of a criminal."

The day after Davis stole Ralph Chard's pistol, he returned with the girls to East Wenatchee to case the gun store again. They walked through without speaking to Sisson. The owner grew suspicious of the trio - the girls with funky nose rings and Davis with a goatee and crew cut - and kicked them out.

"He said he didn't have time to watch over us," Valerie Chard says. "I think he knew something was going on."

Sisson jotted down the license plate of Chard's Marquis on a gun manufacturer's brochure: "361 DKI Wash. four door." He tucked the paper under the cash register.

The trio spent the rest of that day and night driving and talking.

Johnson mentioned that a potato, pressed to the barrel of a gun, would make a nice silencer. They stopped at a store in Rainier Valley and bought potatoes, then drove to Easton to test her theory. It seemed to work: The firecracker pop of the J-22 was quieter, muffled.

They headed east for the third time around dawn the next day, Feb. 19. The winding roads were slick with snow as they maneuvered through the small towns dotting Highway 90.

By now, their conversation was sparse. They talked a bit about using a foot-long club they had to knock Sisson unconscious. Chard remembers that Davis rejected the idea; he wanted to use the gun.

"He had a really strong hold over me," Chard says. "I did whatever he said to do. I didn't think I would pull it off, but I felt like I was too far into it."

As they approached East Wenatchee, Davis busied himself in the passenger seat, carving a hole in a potato so it would fit snugly over the muzzle of the gun, which rode in the trunk, tucked into a small, red tool box Chard's grandmother had given her.

Darrel Eugene Sisson was born in Bronson, Kansas. He worked in the apple orchards of Central Washington as a young man, and later herded deer for the department of game.

He raised game birds, then became a game warden. In 1979, after 31 years with the state, he retired to Baker Flats to fulfill his dream of opening a gun store, Sisson Shooters Supplies, like the one his brother owned in California.

Sisson was a longtime member of the Wenatchee Gun Club and the National Rifle Association. He was known locally as an excellent trap shooter.

Friends called him "Jerry." He had one granddaughter, Kayla, 5.

Sisson was alone in his store when Davis and Chard walked in about 11 a.m.

Davis and Chard approached the locked glass case where Sisson kept guns and ammunition. Davis had his hands jammed into the pouch of his hooded sweatshirt. He nodded toward the case, asking to see an ammunition clip for his .22.

Sisson bent toward the case. As was his habit, he was wearing a sidearm but never had a chance to use it. Davis pulled his hand from his sweatshirt, and pointed the J-22, muzzled by a potato, at Sisson's head. He pulled the trigger. The first bullet entered the lower left rear of Sisson's head, jerking him upright. He faced Davis, who fired again.

Sisson fell to the concrete floor behind the counter, breathing sporadically and bleeding badly.

"If he was able to defend himself, he would have," says Sisson's son, Larry. "There's just nothing he could have done."

Davis rammed the J-22 back into his sweatshirt and got to work.

Chard waved Johnson in from her lookout post in the car. The trio began loading guns into the trunk of the Marquis. They moved quickly, from gun case to car and back.

They took handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault rifles, including Uzis, SKSs, AR-15s and a Tec-9 - an illegal firearm that Sisson may have been repairing, says Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Wagg. They took crates of ammunition, duffel bags filled with bullets. They took holsters, hunting knives, axes and cross bows.

When the trunk of the car could hold no more, they opened the cash register and took $300.

They stopped occasionally as they worked to see if Sisson was still alive. One of them - authorities never determined which - struck Sisson with a camp hatchet. Chard says it was Davis.

"I remember being in shock. I didn't think that he was really going to do it," Chard says. "No one was supposed to die. It was just going to be a robbery."

Just before Davis stepped into the car, he tossed the J-22 into the trunk with the rest of the guns.

On the drive back, Davis made a cell-phone call and arranged to have his friends meet him at the Rest Inn Motel on Aurora Avenue in Seattle.

Chard backed the Marquis up to the door of the motel room. The three unloaded the stash of stolen guns, dumping some on the bed and leaning others against the walls.

But when Chard found her father's J-22, she placed it in a dresser drawer away from the other guns.

"Tom said he didn't want to sell that gun," Chard would later say. "He said we couldn't sell it because it had a life on it."

Johnson thought it was a bad move. "Personally, I thought the gun should have been sold," she says.

After unloading the trunk, they drove to Kmart, where they bought three boxes of Hefty trash bags, toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo and some clothes.

A short while later, they met Davis' friends back at the motel. The two young men selected about 25 guns - mostly handguns - wrapped them in trash bags and loaded them in their car.

The most popular crime gun in Seattle overall was the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver; it accounted for 37 of the 487 guns traced in the BATF study.

But people between 18 and 24 prefer semiautomatic pistols, according to the study.

"I think a lot of it has to do with status and power," says Assistant Chief John Pirak of the Seattle Police Department.

"The majority of the weapons that are coming out in the movies are going to be semiautomatic weapons, not revolvers," agrees Detective Tom Giboney with the Seattle Police Department's property-inspection unit. "Dirty Harry is passe."

The J-22 semiautomatic was the fifth-most-popular crime gun in Seattle, with 10 traces. (The J-22 used on Darrel Sisson was not part of the trace study because the murder took place in Douglas County.)

The day after the gun-store murder, as Valerie Chard was loading the remaining 45 guns back into the Marquis, she retrieved the J-22 and put it in one of the empty trash bag boxes. "It fit," Miranda Johnson would later explain. The three checked out and moved to a Motel 6 in Kirkland.

Davis kept a rendezvous with another contact, who gave him $5,000 in cash for the guns. Davis gave Chard and Johnson each $1,500 and kept $2,000 for himself. Later that day, he bought a blue 1989 Ford Mustang.

Sisson's body wasn't found until that same morning. The medical examiner ruled he died from loss of blood. Police also found a bloody camp ax, two .22-caliber casings and what appeared to be pieces of potato.

Searching the store, Wagg, the Douglas County deputy, found a tri-folded gun brochure among some invoices next to Sisson's cash register. On it was scribbled, "361 DKI Wash. four door."

He called it in. The state Department of Licensing said the plate belonged to a green 1979 Mercury Marquis.

A friend of Sisson's told Wagg about the three kids Sisson had tossed out of the store.

A statewide alert was issued for two girls, both with nose rings and reddish-brown hair, for a scruffy-looking young man with a goatee and a Playboy bunny tattoo on his upper left arm, and for Chard's car.

At 9:15 that night, Lake Forest Park Police Officer Dennis Carlson stopped a green 1979 Mercury Marquis to check a bad tail light and a shattered windshield. Chard was driving, and Johnson was with her.

"I thought it was going to be fine," Chard says. "I was going to get a ticket, and everything was going to be fine."

The officer called in the plate, and asked Chard and Johnson for their driver's licenses.

"As I was walking back to my car, it suddenly clicked - this was the car they were looking for," Carlson says. He threw his notepad and pen in the back of his patrol car, his heart racing, and called for backup.

Within minutes, four other Lake Forest Park police cars pulled up, guns drawn.

"I was pretty calm," Johnson remembers. "First they told Valerie to get out of the car. They did that whole thing, you know, yelling to step away from the vehicle, walk 10 paces backwards, get down on the ground. Then it was my turn. I got out of the car and turned around and saw all these cop cars and all these guns pointed right at me."

Chard confessed on the spot. She told police to check the trunk. She told them to take note of the small .22-caliber gun sitting inside an empty trash-bag box. She told them where they could find Davis.

"We had been caught, and there was nothing we could do about it," she says. "They were going to find out anyway. I mean, we had all these guns in the trunk of my car."

Douglas County sheriff's deputies got to Lake Forest Park just after midnight. The car, the girls, 45 guns and several crates of ammunition were in custody.

"I could barely drive my car after they transferred all those guns to my car," Wagg says. Wagg put the J-22 in his trunk as he found it - in the empty trash-bag box.

In the dark hours of that morning, Kirkland police staked out the Motel 6, room No. 113. They watched as Davis left the room and followed him to a nearby Larry's Market. He got out of his car and was walking to a pay phone when they arrested him.

He told police his name was Mathew Alex Wilson and that he was 23.

Ralph Chard's Jennings .22, manufactured eight years before in California, was about to embark on its final journey.

It was taken back to the Douglas County, tagged and placed on a shelf in a property room for a couple of weeks. It was shipped to Olympia for an examination by the state fingerprint-identification lab.

It went back to Douglas County until BATF agent Art Gonzalez drove up from Yakima to pick it up for a gun trace. He sent it to a federal laboratory in Walnut Creek, Calif., where the gun was fired and its ejected bullet casings examined. Tool markings on the spent casings were determined to be the same as the those recovered on the floor of Sisson's gun shop.

Then the gun was fired - for the last time - into a tank of water to prove that the shape of the bullet slugs was consistent with the slugs found at the murder scene.

BATF agents put the spent bullet slugs and casings in a small plastic bag, tagged it number 975-0076, and sent it back to the Douglas County.

It was tagged again, this time as P970448, and strapped to a particle-board wall.

"They knew it was the murder weapon on the night they found it since Valerie told them," Wagg says. "But they had to do this to make sure."

Valerie Chard, now 19, pleaded guilty last April to second-degree murder after agreeing to testify against Davis. She is serving a 15-year sentence at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor.

Chard was recently fired from a kitchen job at the prison for stealing food to take to her cell. She now is in a drafting program.

"When I get out of here, I'm going to get a job and never come back," she says. "If I could change all of this, I would. I'm sorry that I broke so many hearts."

Johnson, now 18, was not as cooperative during the investigation. She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 26 years. She soon will be transferred to an out-of-state prison.

"Of course I regret what I did," she says. "I should never have been there. I would never want to put anyone through that kind of pain again."

Davis pleaded not guilty, claiming he was never at the gun shop on the morning of the murder.

The J-22 used to kill Sisson was brought out of retirement to prove him wrong. It traveled 30 miles from Wenatchee to the county seat at Waterville, where it became No. 92 of 200 exhibits used in a seven-day trial.

Douglas County Prosecutor Steven Clem showed it to the jury. Wagg testified that it was the same gun he'd found in Chard's car the night of her arrest. BATF agent Gonzalez used a magnifying lens to read the gun's microscopic markings.

"The gun was important in the trial in that . . . it verified the information from Valerie," Wagg says.

Davis, who at 21 had a criminal record that spanned six years and four counties, was convicted July 16 of aggravated first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Sisson's death.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Four months later, Davis pleaded guilty to aggravated first-degree murder in the January death of the hitchhiker, Vicki Tucker. As part of his plea in that case, he agreed to drop plans to appeal his conviction in the Sisson murder if prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

He was given a second life sentence.

Ten days ago, Davis was transferred from the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton to the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He declined to be interviewed.

Darrel Sisson's relatives sold the guns that were left behind at the store. It was enough to pay Sisson's outstanding business debts.

They rented out the building where Sisson had lived and worked for 17 years.

They buried him in a small cemetery in Wenatchee. His son ordered a flat gray tombstone and had it inscribed: "The Best Dad a Son Could Have."

Larry Sisson is glad Davis will never be free again, but he doesn't think it is punishment enough: "I believe he should die for what he did."

Today, Ralph Chard's stolen J-22 shows its age. The silver luster is gone. Nicks and scratches cover the chrome plating. There is a sharp, deep dent just under the muzzle.

It sits in a small cardboard box in a room with 13 other boxes in the evidence room of the Douglas County Courthouse. In the boxes are the other pieces of evidence, including Sisson's gun brochure - the piece of evidence that Wagg said helped Sisson "solve his own murder."

In about three months, it mostly likely will be destroyed, Wagg said.

"There's no way it will be turned over to him (Ralph Chard)," Wagg says. Indeed, although Chard bought the gun legally, he lost his right to possess it after he was convicted of an unrelated felony that same year.

"It could be turned over for department use or it will be destroyed," Wagg says. "And since I can't see any of us wanting to use it, I'm pretty sure it will be destroyed."

If that happens, the gun will be put in a clamp and cut in pieces with a band saw. "We just throw it in the garbage after that," says Sgt. Rich Adams with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "It's totally useless as a firearm after we cut it up."

But its legacy will live on.

Of the nearly 100 guns stolen using the J-22, the fate of the 45 recovered guns remains unclear. Technically, they belong to Sisson's estate but may be claimed by his insurer. Pending that decision, they remain in the evidence room at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The 45 other handguns and assault rifles sold from the Rest Inn Motel on the night of Sisson's murder likely were sold to Seattle gang members, Wagg says.

Neither the Seattle Police nor the BATF will discuss efforts to trace the guns or find the buyers. Some of the guns may have been recovered but, Wagg says, "the vast majority of them are still out there.

"They are going to cost more than brand-new guns because of their allure," he says. "Criminals know they can use them and not have them traced to them."

The legacy of the J-22 also will cost the taxpayers.

Davis' trial cost about $22,000. If he lives to be 73 - the average life expectancy of a white male in the United States - it will cost the state about $65 a day, or an estimated $1.2 million.

Chard's prison bill will cost an estimated $580,000; Johnson's $990,000.

Don't blame that on the lone .22-caliber pistol, warns Ken Estes, an owner of Sky Valley Gun and Tackle in Monroe, where Ralph Chard bought it eight years ago.

"I legally bought the gun from a dealer, this man legally bought it from here, and some man illegally stole it," Estes says. "Let's stop the home burglaries, not the sale of guns."

And even Larry Sisson doesn't hold the gun responsible for his father's death.

"Guns are not the issue here," Larry said. "It's the old adage: Guns don't kill people, people kill people. I believe strongly in that."

So, he says, did his father.

"He really believed that guns weren't the problem," Larry said. "He thought people were the problem."

Arthur Santana's phone message number is 206-515-5684. His e-mail address is:

Seattle Times researcher Vince Kueter contributed to this report.


Thomas David Davis

Age: 22.

Crime: first-degree murder.

Sentence: life without parole.

Release date: none.

Cost of incarceration if he lives to be 70: $1.1 million. (1)

Miranda Leanne Johnson

Age: 18.

Crime: first-degree murder.

Sentence: 26 years.

Release date: Oct. 21, 2022.

Cost of incarceration: $991,000. (1)

Valerie Joy Chard

Age: 19.

Conviction: second-degree murder.

Sentence: 15 years.

Release date: Oct. 3, 2010.

Cost of incarceration: $582,000. (1)

(1) Estimated.

----------------------------------- How guns were used in Seattle crime -----------------------------------


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Firearms offenses 384

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Assaults/threats 36

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Burglary/theft/fraud 19

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Narcotics crimes 18

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Robbery 11

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Homicide 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Kidnapping 3

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Source: Youth Crime Gun Initiative report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for period between July 1, 1996 and April 30, 1997.

----------------------------------------- Guns used in crime: How major cities rank -----------------------------------------

Of the 17 major cities studied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from July 1997 to April 1997, here's the breakdown, from best ratio to worst:


: Guns : : :

: recovered : : Ratio of :

: from : : people per:

City : crimes : Population : crime gun:


Seattle : 487 : 524,704 : 1,077 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Inglewood, Calif. : 126 : 111,040 : 881 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

San Antonio : 1,541 : 1,067,816 : 693 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Jersey City, N.J. : 343 : 229,039 : 667 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Memphis : 947 : 596,725 : 630 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

New York : 12,873 : 7,380,906 : 573 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Boston : 1,020 : 558,394 : 547 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Cleveland : 1,189 : 498,246 : 419 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Birmingham, Ala. : 693 : 258,543 : 373 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Washington, D.C. : 1,959 : 543,213 : 277 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Bridgeport, Conn. : 536 : 137,990 : 257 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

St. Louis : 1,917 : 351,565 : 183 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Baltimore : 3,803 : 675,401 : 178 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Richmond, Va. : 1,152 : 198,267 : 172 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Milwaukee : 4,011 : 590,503 : 147 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Atlanta : 3,482 : 401,907 : 115 :

- - - - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - - : - - - - - .

Salinas, Calif. : 1,510 : 111,757 : 74 :


Total : 37,589 : : :


Sources: 1996 population estimates from the U.S. Bureau of the Census; Department of the Treasury; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative.

------------------------------------------------ The five firearms most used for crime in Seattle ------------------------------------------------

Firearms linked to crimes between July 1, 1996, and April 30, 1997.


Type of firearm : Caliber : Manufacturer : Number:


Revolver : .38 : Smith & Wesson : 37 :

- - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - : - - - - - - - -:- - - -.

Rifle : - : Winchester : 12 :

- - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - : - - - - - - - -:- - - -.

Semiautomatic : 9mm : Glock : 11 :

- - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - : - - - - - - - -:- - - -.

Semiautomatic : 9mm : Smith & Wesson : 11 :

- - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - : - - - - - - - -:- - - -.

Semiautomatic : .22 : Jennings : 10 :

- - - - - - - - - - -:- - - - - : - - - - - - - -:- - - -.

Source: Youth Crime Initiative report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

----------------- Who has the guns? -----------------

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' National Tracing Center was asked to trace 37,589 guns around the country between July 1996 and April 1997, including 487 guns from Seattle. The BATF was able to identify the possessor's date of birth for 336 of the Seattle guns. Here's how those break down:

Ages 17 and under

Semiautomatic pistol 62%.

Revolver 28%.

Shotgun 6%.

Rifle 3%.

Derringer 1%. Total: 69.

Ages 18 to 24

Semiautomatic pistol 65%.

Revolver 24%.

Shotgun 6%.

Rifle 5%.

Machine gun 1%. Total: 108.

Ages 25 and up

Rifle 39%.

Semiautomatic pistol 36%.

Revolver 18%.

Derringer 3%.

Shotgun 3%.

Machine gun 1%. Total: 159.

Note: Figures may exceed 100 percent because of roundings.

Source: Youth Crime Gun Initiative report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for period between July 1, 1996 and April 30, 1997.

Published Correction Date: 02/24/98 - A Chart With This Story Showed A Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms Study Of Guns Used In Crime In 17 Cities Was Conducted From July 1996 To April 1997. The Length And Time Period Of The Study Were Incorrectly Noted.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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