On March 5, astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly purchased an “assault” rifle in a Tucson gun store. He passed the background check, but because the rifle was used, he had to wait 20 days to take possession of it. During those 20 days, his purchase was exposed. Facing accusations of hypocrisy — buying something that he would actively deny others the opportunity to buy — Kelly claimed that he was buying the rifle to show that it’s too easy to buy such a weapon.
That story never made much sense. Kelly bought a used rifle, reportedly for about $1300. A new rifle would have cost more, but he could have taken possession of a new rifle immediately, not wait 20 days, and could then have shown that he was able to walk out with a new “assault” rifle the same day he decided to buy it. Additionally, as an astronaut and husband of a former congresswoman with no criminal record, Kelly’s ability to purchase a gun proved nothing about the effectiveness of background checks. He would never have failed a background check.
On Monday, the 20-day waiting period passed. The store owner, Douglas MacKinlay, posted on his Facebook page that he has decided to deny the sale to Kelly.
While I support and respect Mark Kelly’s 2nd Amendment rights to purchase, possess, and use firearms in a safe and responsible manner, his recent statements to the media made it clear that his intent in purchasing the Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm rifle from us was for reasons other then for his personal use. In light of this fact, I determined that it was in my company’s best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store to complete the Federal From 4473 and NICS background check required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession this firearm. A full refund was sent to Mr. Kelly, via express mail, on Thursday of last week.
The actual rifle will be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association, and raffled off. MacKinlay’s store is also making a donation in the amount of the rifle price toward a gun safety program for kids.
Kelly’s wife, Gabby Giffords, was shot at an outdoor event in Tucson by a deranged stalker. The Tucson shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, used a 9 mm Glock 19 pistol. Kelly and Giffords have since made gun control a mission, founding Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control advocacy group. According to Fox News, Kelly bought the AR-15 rifle and a .45 caliber handgun at Diamondback Police Supply on March 5, the day before he and Giffords had visited the supermarket where she was wounded.
Kelly retains possession of the handgun.
It is a felony to lie on the forms one must fill out when purchasing a firearm.