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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: July 29, 1999

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Alleged Shooter: Mark O. Barton

People Killed: 13 (shooter committed suicide)

People Injured: 13

Firearm(s): Glock Model 17 9mm pistol and a Colt 1911A1 .45 pistol


Mark O. Barton, a 44-year-old day trader, killed his wife and two children, then nine people in two brokerage offices. He left a long, rambling letter at his home saying that he hated life, suffered unnamed terrors, and wanted to kill as many as possible of those who "greedily sought my destruction."

How Firearm(s) Acquired

Barton legally purchased the Glock 9mm handgun in 1993 in a gun shop (which is now out of business) in Warner Robins, Texas. The Colt .45 was bought in 1983 by a man in Richardson, Texas. Police believe this gun was legally sold to Barton in a private sale because it has never been reported missing or stolen. Police also found a .25 Raven pistol and a .22 Harrington & Richardson revolver in Barton's van.


  1. "U.S. Needs Gun Controls," The Gazette (Montreal), 5 August 1999, sec. B, p. 2.
  2. "Atlanta Assailant Had 2 More Guns, Ammo in His Van," The Orange County Register, 1 August 1999, sec. A, p. 29.
  3. Lyda Longa, "The Day After: Weapons; Barton Left Two Handguns Unused," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 31 July 1999, sec. D, p. 7.
  4. Lyda Longa, "Police Slow to Release Barton Investigative File; Delays Over Possible Violation of Public Records Law Explained by Claims That Probe Wasn't Finished," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 1 September 1999, sec. B, p. 3.
  5. Terri Langford, "Gunman Lived in Texarkana; Pistol Bought in Dallas; Houston-based Firm Says He Lost $105,000 Day Trading," Associated Press, 31 July 1999.


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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.