Mark E. Kelly, gun-control proponent and husband to former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, recently purchased an AR-15 (an “assault weapon,” he called it)—which he now says he intended as an illustration of the need for more stringent gun laws.
Kelly reportedly bought the AR-15 and a 1911-style semi-automatic pistol at a gun store in Tucson, Arizona.
Breitbart News received a tip on this when Neil McCabe, editor of Guns & Patriots newsletter, contacted us on March 7 and said:
Mark E. Kelly, made purchases which included an AR-15–sometimes described as an “assault rifle”–at 3:30 pm on the afternoon of March 5 at Diamondback Police Supply, 170 S. Kolb Street, Tucson, AZ.
According to McCabe, witnesses to the purchases claimed Kelly purchased “high capacity” magazines as well.
On March 6, McCabe contacted Kelly’s gun control group–“Americans for Responsible Solutions”–and on March 8 they replied that his message had been passed on to colleagues who handle press requests. 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.
Days after making the purchases, Kelly wrote on Facebook:
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. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don’t have possession of it yet but I’ll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do.
Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 30, Kelly had urged senators to restrict sales firearms based on their lethality–a common refrain with other witnesses that day, who argued that semi-automatic weapons, which chamber subsequent rounds as bullets are fired, and other guns with military-style features level the playing field against law enforcement.
Kelly and Giffords founded their own advocacy group to restrict gun rights, Americans for Responsible Solutions, in January. On its website, ARS wrote: “High capacity magazines are a deadly factor in gun violence.” A 30-round magazine is considered a high-capacity magazine.
The ARS website says: “Congress should act to limit the sale of high capacity magazines, which are not needed for hunting or self-defense, but have proven very lethal.”
Similarly, the ARS website says: “Congress should act to limit the sale of assault weapons.
In February, Kelly told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace that lawmakers need to address “assault weapons.” He said the purpose of an “assault weapon” is “to kill a lot of people very quickly,” and he lamented that such products were “too readily available.”
Kelly has not commented on whether he will also return the .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol he purchased.