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For sale: Gun shop that was linked to D.C. sniper rifle

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The main owner of a gun store linked to the rifle used in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper shootings said he's selling the shop because of the fallout.

Brian Borgelt wouldn't reveal the sale price for Bull's Eye Shooter Supply and described the buyer only as a longtime friend.

"I've been battered around pretty good for several months," he said earlier this week. "I think it's time to pass the torch."

The store — billed as "The Biggest Little Gun Shop Around" — was labeled the source of a .223-caliber Bushmaster AR-15 carbine that was found with sniper defendants Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad when they were arrested in October.

The $1,600 weapon had been on display at the store before it vanished in July, investigators said.

Malvo and Muhammad have been linked to 20 shootings, including 13 deaths in Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

Victims' relatives have sued Borgelt and the store and he is under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service. Borgelt is also appealing a move by ATF to revoke the store's license after finding that more than 200 other firearms were missing from the store without proper documentation.

Borgelt said the sale was not an attempt to duck accountability.

"I take full responsibility for this company and the people that I employ in this company," he said.