Example: [Collected via the Internet, March 2013]
Origins: Mark Kelly is a retired Navy captain and astronaut as well as the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, who represented Arizona's
On 4 March 2013, Kelly testified before a Colorado State Senate committee in support of a measure requiring background checks on all gun sales. On the following day, Kelly reportedly purchased "an
There isn't much doubt that Kelly did indeed buy such a weapon, as on
Critics contend that Kelly's explanation was a disingenous or misleading one, as he purchased an
On 13 March 2013, Mark Kelly was interviewed on CNN by Wolf Blitzer, who asked him about reports that he had intended to purchase the
KELLY: Well, Wolf, it's important for me to have firsthand knowledge about how easy it is or difficult it is, you know, to buy a weapon like that. You know, it is through a background check obviously at a federally licensed gun dealer, but it is important for me to know, you know, what it is and to have firsthand knowledge.
So in the future, you know, I'm looking forward at some point to buying a gun, you know, at a gun show, also possibly selling a gun so I know really the ins and outs of this issue.
BLITZER: The conservative news site Breitbart suggested that you went public with this decision to buy an AR-15 because they were about to report it. I will read to you from what Breitbart.com said on Saturday:
"Breitbart News then began investigating the details surrounding the purchase, including visiting the gun store. Suddenly Kelly announced on his Facebook page that he was not going to keep the AR-15, which he has yet to pick up from the store."
What do you say about that?
KELLY: Well, I don't know anything about who Breitbart is or anything about his Web site. I mean, we had a plan to go in there to buy a .45, and if we had the opportunity to buy an AR-15 as well.
And, you know, I don't know the timing, but we had a plan on when we were going to announce that on Facebook. In the future I'll be talking about buying a gun from a gun show, also selling a gun. So that's all to come later because I really need to understand this, the issues, you know, surrounding gun violence and these weapons.
BLITZER: What are you going to do with that AR-15?
KELLY: Well, the plan is to turn it into the Tucson Police Department. So once I get access — you know, once I actually take possession of it, we'll be handing it in to the Tucson PD.
BLITZER: Just to be precise, your intention was always to hand over the AR-15 to the police department?
KELLY: Yeah, absolutely, I have no use for a gun like that. From my military experience, it's important that the military have assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. I really think that the access the public has to these, it's too easy, as I demonstrated the other day. It's very easy to buy an assault weapon; they're readily available. They really shouldn't be.
Reuters reported that the store's owner said he would not have sold Kelly the AR-15 if he knew of the latter's expressed intent:
Kelly said he showed Arizona identification and was able last week to buy a .45 caliber pistol and the assault weapon that he spotted while making the purchase.
MacKinlay now regrets the sale. He told Reuters he would not have sold Kelly the rifle if he knew that the $1,000 purchase was going to be used to make a political statement.
"I would have told him politely that we would not be completing the transaction," MacKinlay said. "We do not support his stance that civilians should not be able to purchase assault-style weapons. Not by a long shot."
News accounts also reported that the store's owner said he cancelled the sale before Kelly took possession of the weapon:
Kelly couldn't immediately take possession of the rifle because the shop had bought it from a customer. As a result, the store is required by a Tucson ordinance to hold the gun for 20 days to give the city enough time to make sure the weapon wasn't used in a crime.
Store owner Doug MacKinlay said in a Facebook post that he "determined that was in my company's best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store."
Americans for Responsible Solutions did not respond to our inquiry seeking additional information about the purpose behind Captain Kelly's purchase of an
Last updated: 25 March 2013