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Cablegate: Nicaragua: Blue Lantern 050056562

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #2265 2781613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051613Z OCT 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1437
INFO RUEPINS/HQ BICE INTEL WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 002265

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM/DTCC - ADAM ARNETT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KOMC NU
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA: BLUE LANTERN 050056562

REF: SECSTATE 118429

1. On September 20, Econoff and ARSO met with Salvador Luna,
owner of Armeria Magnum, at his store located in Centro
Comercial, a large shopping center in Managua. In response
to Reftel questions, Luna told Emboffs that he founded
Armeria Magnum in 2000. Before then, Luna had worked for
many years as a marksmanship trainer. He still runs a
separate target range and training facility. (Note: RSO
personnel and local guards train at Luna's facility. End
Note.) Luna told Emboffs that a business partner operates a
second Armeria Magnum store in Matagalpa. Armeria Magnum has
ordered 300 revolvers from Century Arms, but Luna said he
would take delivery of only 100 revolvers this year.

2. Armeria Magnum is authorized by the National Police to
import and sell firearms. The sector is closely regulated by
the Nicaraguan Government, Luna told Emboffs. There are only
four other firearms retailers in the country. In addition to
these retailers, to whom he may sell wholesale, Luna sells to
individuals who provide evidence that they are authorized by
the National Police to carry a firearm. Requirements include
a psychological evaluation, background check, and weapons
familiarization training. Luna reported that in 2006 he sold
approximately 120 Israeli-made 9mm pistols and 150
Turkish-made shotguns. He was able to show electronic and
paper records documenting these sales.

3. The store is protected 24 hours a day by an armed
security guard employed directly by Armeria Magnum. Guards
employed by the shopping center provide additional security,
and a police station is located 200 meters away. The
storefront is made of glass. Firearms are displayed in
unlocked cases. Luna acknowledged that there is no alarm
system. (Comment: ARSO suggested that Luna install a metal
curtain to improve security at his store; however, ARSO
believes current security satisfies minimum requirements.
End Comment.) In post's assessment, Armeria Magnum is a
reliable recipient of United States Munitions List (USML)
items.
TRIVELLI

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