Inside the Notorious Gun Shop Linked to Hundreds of Chicago Guns (ProPublica)


    Inside the Notorious Gun Shop Linked to Hundreds of Chicago Guns – By Vernal Coleman (ProPublica) / Dec 11, 2023

    The story of one Indiana store demonstrates how the more than 60,000 gun retailers in America have little financial incentive to say no to questionable buyers and face limited penalties for failing to prevent illegal transactions.

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    Early one morning in June 2022, Earl Westforth sat down at a small table inside a hotel conference room in northwest Indiana and began defending his life’s work.

    Fourteen months earlier, the city of Chicago had sued his namesake Westforth Sports Inc., alleging that the outdoor- and sports-equipment shop was negligent in how it screened gun buyers and had become an epicenter for the unlawful purchase of guns, which were flooding into the violence-wracked city.

    Over 50 years, Westforth had helped grow the Indiana business into one of the state’s most successful gun retailers. Operating from a squat building located just a few miles from the Illinois border on land set between downtown Gary and its richer suburbs, Westforth Sports raked in millions selling ammo, fishing gear and, most notably, guns.



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