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Realco guns tied to 2,500 crimes in D.C. and Maryland

"He had the gun right there at his fingertips," said Ingaharra's mother, Bonnie Rogers. "He just took it out and blew him away."

A Kel-Tec 9mm sold by Realco in January 2007 was used by Terris T. Luckett seven months later to shoot his wife 20 times, killing her at their Clinton home. He then killed a barber, John Scales III, in his shop. Luckett, who bought the gun, incorrectly thought the two were having an affair, police say.

Realco's president, Carlos del Real, declined repeated requests to be interviewed, dismissing the news value of gun tracing.

"It's such a ridiculous topic," said del Real, who took over the shop after his brother died in 2008. "Maybe we should just move our shop a few hundred miles away."

Glenn Ivey said that after he became Prince George's state's attorney in 2002, he asked law enforcement colleagues if he could do anything about the flow of guns from Realco, which he said he knew of from his time in the 1990s as a prosecutor in the District.

"I had an eye toward trying to take action," Ivey said. "The feedback we got was: They are doing it the way they are supposed to. They are following the letter of the law."

Asked about Realco, ATF spokeswoman Clare Weber said stores with greater numbers of traces are inspected more frequently.

"The number of traces that come back to a [gun dealer] is not a revocable offense if the dealer is found in compliance with record-keeping requirements," she said.

Joseph R. Vince Jr., who retired from the ATF's Crime Gun Analysis Branch in 1999 and has worked as an expert for lawyers who represent victims of gun violence, said the pattern prompts questions.

"If a gun store is bleeding crime guns, you have got to ask yourself what . . . is going on," Vince said. "I have no problem with somebody being in the firearms business. That is a legitimate business. But why can't the public be aware of where guns to criminals are coming from?"

Realco walks the line

Realco, one of dozens of dealers licensed over the years to sell handguns in Prince George's, opened more than 35 years ago when Carlos del Real's older brother Greg secured an ATF dealer's license.

The store - whose address is now in District Heights after an annexation three years ago - occupies a 1930 Craftsman-style house on a strip of Marlboro Pike, between the Loose Ends Hair Studio and the Black Ribeye drive-through. Across the street is a Dunkin' Donuts and a check-cashing service. Down the block is a liquor store and a police substation.

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