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Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, purchased an AR-15 at a Tucson, Ariz. gun dealer. But when the shop heard that Kelly was buying the rifle to make a political statement, the dealer cancelled Kelly’s purchase.
Kelly purchased the AR-15 on March 5, claiming that it was to show how easy it is to buy an assault weapon and that he intended to turn the gun over to the police following its acquisition, noted The Washington Times. At first when Kelly’s purchase was leaked, his actions were widely criticized, since he and his wife have been gun control advocates since Giffords nearly died in a shooting in 2011.
According to Politico, when Diamondback Police Supply heard that Kelly was going to use the rifle purchase for political reasons, the owner, Douglas MacKinlay, cancelled the order and took to Facebook. He explained that, for the sake of his company, he would forego the sale and that Kelly would be given a full refund.
“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 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.”
MacKinlay said that the rifle will be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association and the company will also donate its cost ($1295.00) to the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, which focuses on child safety.