An Arizona gun store said Monday it was canceling a purchase by Mark Kelly — the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) — after it became apparent he was buying the weapon in a political stunt designed to demonstrate how easy it was to obtain assault weapons.


"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 [sic] for his personal use," Douglas MacKinlay, the owner of Diamondback Supply Company, said in a post to his store's Facebook page.

"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 [sic] 4473 and NICS background check required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession this firearm."

MacKinlay added that he had fully refunded Kelly's money via express mail, and that the store planned to donate the rifle to a police raffle. The store also plans to donate an amount equivalent to the sale to a gun safety program for children.


Kelly said in a Facebook post of his own earlier this month that he had purchased the assault weapon to underscore that gun laws were too lenient.

"I don't have possession yet but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do," Kelly wrote. "Scary to think of people buying guns like these without a background check at a gun show or the Internet. We really need to close the gun show and private seller loop hole."

Kelly and Giffords have become gun-control advocates in the aftermath of a 2011 shooting at a Giffords constituent event outside a grocery store in Tucson. Six were killed and Giffords was badly wounded in the shooting rampage.