What to know about Century Arms, the US dealer linking the Paris attacks to Florida
In 2013, one of the guns used in last month's Paris attacks was delivered to an arms dealer in Florida. (AFP/File)
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A new discovery this week is pulling the question of gun control in America across the world to Paris, where one of the guns used in the attacks which killed 130 last month has been traced back to an arms dealer in Florida.
The Palm Beach Post reports a serial number on an M92 handgun linked to the deadly attacks matches one of a weapon forged by Zastava arms factory and delivered to an arms dealer in Delray Beach called Century International Arms in 2013. And it's not the first time this dealer has come up.
Here are five things to know about the company.
1. It's one of the largest arms outlets in America. Offering military-grade weapons, Century specializes in buying arms from overseas and reselling them in the US.
2. It holds a federal firearms license in Georgia, Vermont. There, Century Arms builds and imports guns as well as larger arms, including large-caliber guns and armor-piercing ammunition.
3. The company was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal for allegedly arming Nicaraguan rebels. In 1987, former police officer and longtime Century Arms employee John Rugg told a U.S. Senate committee Century had sold rockets grenades and other weapons to the fighting group. But because US arms trade tightly controlled when it goes international, some speculated those weapons were transferred illegally.
4. Yet, Century showed up again in a 2011 WikiLeaks document for selling arms illegally through "unauthorized brokers." During that same year, a similar charge by the Center for Public Integrity alleged that WASR-10 rifles made in Romania for the company had begun showing up in Mexico, as a favorite of drug cartels there.
5. So who is buying Century Arms' weapons in the first place? As Raw Story reports, the dealer sells both to individual buyers and other businesses in possession of a federal firearms license. Problem is, the licenses themselves are not well regulated. Meanwhile, Century Arms owner Michael Sucher has refused to comment on the Paris link and the owner of Serbian-based gun factory Zastava says his company "cannot be blamed" for where weapons go once they are made in the factory.
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