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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

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

Date: April 5, 1994

Location: Seattle, Washington

Alleged Shooter: Kurt Cobain

People Killed: One (shooter committed suicide)

People Injured: None

Firearm(s): Remington Model 11 20-gauge shotgun


After two days in a California drug-treatment clinic, Cobain returned to his Seattle home and shot himself. Police had confiscated weapons from Cobain twice in the previous 10 months, so Cobain had a friend buy the shotgun for him.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The firearm was legal. Cobain's best friend, Dylan Carlson, purchased the shotgun at Stan's Gun Shop in Seattle, Washington. Cobain did not want the gun to be purchased in his name because he thought the police might seize it from him for his own protection. The police had taken away his guns twice in the past 10 months. The first time was in response to a domestic disturbance at his home, but Cobain was not charged and the weapons were returned to him. On the second occasion, police seized four weapons from Cobain�including the three that had been returned to him�after his wife reported he was suicidal.


  1. Steven Goldsmith and Dan Raley, "Friend Innocently Bought Shotgun For Cobain," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 15 April 1994, sec. A, p. 1.
  2. Steven Goldsmith and Scott Maier, "At War With Himself: Cobain Endured Intense Physical Pain, Which Resulted in Self-Destruction," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 16 April 1994, sec. B, p. 1.

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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.