The owner of a Tucson gun store where Mark Kelly recently purchased an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle canceled the transaction because Kelly did not plan to keep the rifle for his personal use.
Doug MacKinlay, owner of Diamondback Police Supply at 170 S. Kolb Road, posted on the store's Facebook page Monday that he canceled the transaction March 21. A full refund was sent to Kelly via express mail, MacKinlay said.
"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 form 4473 and NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession of this firearm," MacKinlay wrote.
Kelly could not be reached for comment.
Pia Carusone, executive director of a political action committee Kelly co-founded, Americans for Responsible Solutions, said she could not comment until she spoke to Kelly about the matter. She said he was on vacation.
Kelly, a retired astronaut, formed Americans for Responsible Solutions with his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to lobby for universal background checks for gun buyers. Giffords, who was injured in Tucson's mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011, and Kelly are also urging restrictions on the sale of high-capacity magazines.
Kelly has said he bought the AR-15 on March 5 to show "it's too easy" to buy an assault weapon. He said he planned to turn it in to the Tucson Police Department.
When the purchase became public earlier this month, Kelly defended his buying of the military-style rifle that has the type of high-capacity magazine he and Giffords have lobbied against. The magazine can hold up to 30 rounds.
Conservative bloggers and others who left messages on Kelly's Facebook page called Kelly's purchase hypocritical.
In his statement Monday, MacKinlay said the Sig Sauer M400 rifle, also known as an AR-15, "will be donated to the Arizona Tactical Officers Association, where it will be raffled off to generate funds the association can use to purchase much needed tactical equipment for the organization's members."
The association represents state law enforcement officers, including Special Weapons and Tactics teams and emergency special response officers.
MacKinlay also said that his gun store will make a $1,295 contribution, the selling price of the assault rifle, to the National Rifle Association's Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, which teaches gun safety to children.
Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4104.