The Tucson gun shop owner who sold an AR-15 military-style assault rifle to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband Mark Kelly earlier this month has rescinded the sale of the gun after Kelly spoke out about the how easy it was to obtain the weapon.
Kelly purchased the assault rifle and a .45-caliber handgun at Diamondback Police Supply in Tucson March 5,
and said it took only "a matter of minutes" to complete the background check.
"Scary to think of people buying guns like these without a background check at a gun show or the Internet," Kelly wrote in a posting on his Facebook account. "We really need to close the gun show and private seller loop hole."
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Kelly couldn’t immediately take possession of the rifle because it was bought back from another customer and Arizona law mandates that a shop keep a buyback weapon for 20 days to give the city enough time to make sure it wasn’t used in a crime.
Then, store owner Doug MacKinlay rescinded the sale of the gun to Kelly Monday in a post on the shop's Facebook page
"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," MacKinlay wrote. "In light of this fact, I determined that it was in my company’s best interest to terminate this transaction."
Kelly was given a full refund, MacKinlay said, and the rifle was donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association to be raffled as a fundraiser. An additional contribution of $1,295 — the value of the rifle — was made to the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.
Giffords and Kelly, a former astronaut, launched a group in January aimed at curbing gun violence
in the wake of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn
. The group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is pushing for a ban on high-powered semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 rifle that Kelly bought, as well as high-capacity magazines.
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In 2011, Giffords was critically injured after being shot in the head by a gunman who unloaded a semiautomatic weapon on a crowd gathering near Tucson
. Six people died and 13 were injured in the shooting. Giffords resigned from the House a year later to focus on her recovery.
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