The gun found close to the man whose shooting by police sparked the August riots may have been used in a previous unrelated assault.
Police said yesterday that they had charged a 29-year-old man with an assault at a hair salon and of possessing and transferring the gun that was reportedly found a month later hidden inside a box near the body of Mark Duggan when it was recovered.
The gun was found up to 14ft from the body of Mr Duggan. While the box had Mark Duggan's fingerprints on it, the firearm did not, according to a report in The Guardian.
The investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the shooting is still far from over. The IPCC urged people not to “rush to judgement” over a complex inquiry that would take four to six months to complete. It declined to comment on the reported claims.
Police intelligence before the shooting indicated that Mr Duggan collected a firearm from an address in Hackney and had it with him when he was stopped in Tottenham. Shortly before this, he sent a text message revealing he knew he was being followed by police.
Two officers have been placed on restricted duties while their handling of the assault inquiry is studied by the IPCC.
Earlier, its commissioner, Sarah Green, said: "Our investigation will consider whether all investigative lines were promptly identified and acted upon by officers from the Met and to what extent, if any, the conduct of this investigation may have impacted on the supply of the firearm found at the scene of the shooting of Mark Duggan."