Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, will not be laying a hand on an AR-15-style rifle he paid for at a Tucson, Ariz., gun shop earlier this month.
Douglas MacKinlay, the owner of Diamondback Police Supply Co., announced in a Facebook post Monday he had determined Kelly's "intent" unworthy of one of his customers.
"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 said in the statement. "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 the gun would be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association so that it can be raffled to raise money for state police equipment. His store, said MacKinlay, was also donating $1,295—the cost of the gun—to the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.
Kelly, whose wife was shot in the head and nearly died in 2011 when Jared Lee Loughner used a semi-automatic pistol to shoot up a crowd in Tucson, had previously said in a Facebook post that the gun purchase was incredibly fast and easy.
"I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a 45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too," Kelly wrote in the post. "Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don't have possession yet but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do. Scary to think of people buying guns like these without a background check at a gun show or the Internet."
In a statement to Breitbart News earlier this month, the gun store explained that the AR-15-style gun Kelly bought was acquired from another customer and "cannot be released to Mr. Kelly or any other customer for a minimum of 20 days in accordance with local ordinances. ... Once the hold period is up," the store said, "Mr. Kelly must then show proper identification, complete the Federal Firearms Transfer Record (Form 4473) and successfully complete the NICS background check prior to his taking physical possession of the firearm."