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March 11th, 2013
06:35 PM ET

Kelly: Buying AR-15 was "pretty easy"

Gabrielle Giffords' husband and gun control advocate Mark Kelly talks to Wolf Blitzer about why he purchased an assault weapon.

RELATED STORY: Gabby Giffords' husband buys assault weapon

Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Guns • Interviews
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. John

    I have a concerns about an issue that as far as I know has not been addressed.
    Mr. Kelly, according to his own statement, purchased the weapon with the expressed intent to give it to someone else.
    That sounds like the textbook definition of a straw purchase. I don't believe the law makes any exceptions for who you intend to purchase the weapon. I think Mr. Kelly has in fact proven something. He proved is willing to break existing gun laws to prove his point. I am concerned about how far Mr. Kelly is prepared to go to prove his point.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:13 am |
    • Jim

      I have to agree with you John, it sounded like he was going to sell it in another state. What was his intent, couldn't have been anything legal!

      March 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  2. Brent

    Funny thing happened to Mr. Kelly while waiting for his new rifle – the seller decided to return Mr. Kelly's money and donate the rifle to a local gun safety organization. The rifle will get much better use with them.

    March 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  3. Nick

    He bought the AR-15 to show how easy it is to get and yet he wasn't able to walk away with it after passing the background check. I guess he didn't prove his point. Yet he still went through with the purchase. Why didn't he buy a new rifle to make his point? Wouldn't that of been a better example? Why wasn't anyone there to document it, like the media? Wouldn't that have made his point better? I say he's lying. He wanted the gun to have before any potential ban.

    March 14, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  4. DaveW

    Mark Kelly is a good guy. He's doing his research thoroughly – and documenting the full process. I give him full marks because many of those who favor gun control end up not knowing what they're talking about. He's being smart.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Robert in Boca Raton

      Unless you have a "concealed weapons permit" there is a 3 day waiting period to secure a recent purchased gun while a background check is completed.
      My impression of the interview is Mark Kelly was caught doing something he didn't want known. Otherwise he would have taken a film crew with him, wouldn't he? His explanation that he was going to give the gun to the police was very weak. He could have A: said he was going to refuse the sale when he could pick up the weapon or B: said he was going to use it to demonstrate how to sell at at gun show which he opposes.
      Also not he said he was keeping the pistol and that he and his wife were gun supporters. He has every right to own a gun to protect his wonderful wife from further harm, doesn't he? Of course he does.
      It was an embarrassing incident at best.

      March 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • Jim

        There is no waiting period in Arizona. None. If you pass the background check, you can buy a handgun or rifle. Instant background checks have been in affect since the Brady Bill was passed. At one time before the President Obama entered office and became the greatest incentive for gun sales, it only took fifteen minutes. Because of the volume of sales, it does take longer. The President can also be credited with the causing ammuntion costs to skyrocketing. With Homeland Security buying billions of rounds of ammunition, the manufactures are scrambling to produce enough for the public.

        March 16, 2013 at 2:25 am |
  5. Scare The Pilgrims

    ANY & ALL Buy-Back programs violate Federal Law. To Deal In Firearms In Quantity,,either Buying Or Selling A Federal Firearms License Must be applied for and Obtained from the B.A.T.F. . It does not matter if Your The Mayor of Dallas Texas , or The Cheif of Police In Hollywood California. You must apply for that FFL and Pay for it after Approval to deal in Firearms from Strangers off the street anywhere in all 50 States. The first time I ever saw this BuyBack Program theory , was when McDonalds Restaurants paid for the guns while the Cities Police Dept. Set Up The Tables for the TV News Cameras to get a good documentary for Advertiseing the idea Ronald The Clown Cares & Wants People Safe From Guns,,while at the same time the Police On that TV film were Violating Federal Law. I have about as much respect for Crack Dealers as Ronald McDonald. The Idea is TREASON in MOTION. Illegal Means I LL E G A L , period

    March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  6. Mikerb1958

    You cannot buy full automatic military weapons. These are semi automatic rifles styled to look like the military version.

    March 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Tucsonian

    This is such BS, the dude got caught weeks after the state of the union anti-assult weapons fiasco buying an assult weapon.

    Then after the fact says he was doing it to demonstrate, what a load of bull.

    Besides his wife was shot with a pistol not an assault rifle that is why she is still here....

    Leave it to CNN to ask the tough questions while buying the Obama Kool-Aide.

    March 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  8. fdubzou

    His wife was shot with a .45 handgun, not an AR-15.

    March 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Jim

    His best bet would be to try and buy all the guns. Put them in storage and then no-one would be able to purchase a gun. With his astroaunt status, he should be able to push his way to the head of the line.

    March 13, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  10. Jim

    As I already said, if he turns in, surrenders, gives up or whatever other term is used, the weapon will be resold. It is illegal for the state to destroy the weapon, "any gun, whether seized from criminals, found on someone's property, or obtained voluntarily, must be resold"

    March 13, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • DaveW

      The law is easily complied with; the arms are simply sold to a scrapper who melts the metal for scrap. The terms used are different ("converted" instead of "destroyed"), but the end result is the same. The law allows for this and always has. Section 15d of the statute is there for this exact purpose.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  11. Astounded

    This guy is so full of it. Is anyone really buying this?

    "Yeah, I've bought weapons before. My wife and I are both gun owners, but I just wanted to see how the gun buying process worked, so I bought a $2000 rifle that I'm trying to ban."

    Yeah Mark, well, I went and bought a $250,000 home just because I wanted to see how the mortgage process worked.

    Let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know how the gun buying process works, despite the fact that you already own guns....

    Did you ever think of just asking?


    March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  12. Astounded

    This guy is so full of crap. Is anyone really buying this?

    "Yeah, I've bought weapons before. My wife and I are both gun owners, but I just wanted to see how the gun buying process worked, so I bought a $2000 rifle that I'm trying to ban."

    Yeah Mark, well, I went and bought a $250,000 home just because I wanted to see how the mortgage process worked.

    Let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know how the gun buying process works, despite the fact that you already own guns....

    Did you ever think of just asking?


    March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  13. gregory mitchell

    I think Kelly left part of his brain in space, at least the part that controls impulse purchasing and the ability to keep his story straight. His wife was almost killed by a psychopath wielding semi-automatic pistols. Mr. Kelly visited a gun store to buy a new pistol AND happens to pick up an AR-15 which he now claims he purchased to better understand the process. The process is no different than purchasing the 45 pistol he claims he intends to keep as a gun enthusiast and supporter of the 2d Ammendment. He knows the process is no different. Anyone who has ever purchased a rifle of pistol knows that. I call bull-$^i) You Mr. Kelly are a walking contradiction. Perhaps you should join the NRA secretly and report back to us how easy it is to put their bumper sticker on your truck.

    March 13, 2013 at 6:53 am |
  14. JB

    So he proved the system worked, I don't get it....

    March 13, 2013 at 6:19 am |
  15. Andy

    Mark, your know rocket scientist!

    Personally it's hard to not be sarcastic over this issue, but I think the only people who believe that ridiculous story of yours is Wolf Blitzer. Having had strong opinions on both sides of the fence over gun control, I can only shake my head, for I once would have given you a free pass as for any opinion you would have on gun control, even though as a member of the military, you should have some rudimentary inkling on how a long gun and handgun operate, and being an adult who has commanded and lead others, you should have a minuscule preponderance as to how to purchase a firearm.

    Such a shame, I admired you and your wife for your courage, now I view you as another back peddling, hypocrite, who speaks with forked tongue. No jury in the world would believe such tripe, when all you had to do was go into a gun shop and watch. Ahhhh but you just wanted to throw away money! Please, your like the guy who solicits a prostitute and when he gets caught, he say's he was conducting his own investigation! That excuse never works. I'm glad none of my Navy pilot friends became astronauts, but then they have integrity!

    March 13, 2013 at 3:13 am |
  16. Steve Lyons

    This is really odd that he is publicly saying that he is making a straw purchase and will be transferring possessions to a third party. Holder will not attempt to prosecute him, but if anyone else does this unless it is for a cartel member, they will find themselves burned like Waco.......

    March 13, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  17. Rayzor

    The statement "I'll be turning it in to the police department" gives this story the appearance that something wrong was done and "turning in" the gun will correct it. There was nothing wrong or illegal with this AR-15 purchase. The term "donate" would be more appropriate. It's not evidence, it is a tool the police will use. It's unfortunate that "important people" think they get to define what is right or wrong for the American people. Leave the drama and emotion out of a constitutional right!

    March 13, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  18. Cbergen

    He did NOT buy an assault weapon. He bought a semi automatic rifle with a pistol grip and hand guards. Probably also had an adjustable butt stock so it could be adjusted to fit his arm length.

    It's no more "military like" than a plastic air soft gun that shoots little pellets and "looks" like an M16...

    Of course it was easy to purchase this weapon, he has no criminal history to show up in his background check, and it is a perfectly legal rifle to own, just like a shotgun, .22, or any other NON fully automatic rifle. Big Deal. This is absolutely the way it should be.

    March 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  19. james

    so he is going to return a gun that will be sold to the next guy in line......brilliant, maybe the next guy in line will be a criminal, straw purchaser or disturbed neglected medicated youth who will commit crimes with it, well played Mark Kelly, well played

    March 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Jim

      That is correct. He would have to find a private company to destroy the weapon if that was his intention. Otherwise, if he surrenders the weapon to the state in an manner it will be resold. It would still go through the standard background check. At this point he could still sell it to a private buyer and recoup his investment. Also, there are a lot of individuals that should be upset as he purchased a weapon he didn't want. Very possibility jumping in line ahead of everyone else because of this fame. As the story goes, he was returning later this week to pick up the weapon, in AZ there is no waiting period and a person would normally take possession at the time of purchase.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  20. Tim

    I don't understand this. He was subjected to background check, he passed, sale done. Whats the fuss about?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • whodatperson

      The system worked exactly as he wants it to and he complains. In fact, he actually DIDN'T get the gun as he had to wait like 15 days wasn't it?

      Yup... and Wolfie did the ole oylaaa.....

      March 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • Jim

        Nope, no waiting period in Arizona! His only wait is for delivery because of shortages. Thanks to the Obama scare, another year of record sdales for the Mr. Obama, salesman of the year.

        March 13, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • John

      Its a scary world when an astronaught and husband of a former congresswomen can bass a background check... What a hypocrite, he got caught buying an AR and now he has to pretend like he didn't really want it because he and his wife are now pawns in the gun debate.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  21. Bill S

    So he doesn't like an AR-15 because it is military "like" and has a high capacity magazine. But he's going to keep the .45 handgun because he has a use for it? So Mark, how many people have been killed each year by hand guns compared to ANY semi-automatic rifle regardless of its look or ammo capacity? BTW, did the gunman that shot his wife use a semi-automatic weapon with a high capacity magazine or a hand gun?

    I'm fine with Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords crusading for gun control given their personal situation. I don't agree with him, but I understand his conviction. But I find his commentary about the hand gun to smack of hypocrisy.

    March 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • whodatperson

      I agree with everything but your last paragraph. He's a major hypocrite and should keep it to himself. Give up both guns, admit the checks worked according to plan and leave it alone. In fact, he was REJECTED previously because he had an out of state license!

      March 13, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  22. glk20c

    He's got his, and doesn't want you to have yours!

    March 12, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  23. Liberty Loving American

    If people buy the belief for 1 minute that he bought this firearm to turn it in to authorities they are heavily drinking the Kool-aid. He probably wanted it for personal use and got caught going back on what hes been preaching these days.

    March 12, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Steve Lyons

      State and Federal Prosecutors better file charges, and the store owner should immediately turn him in for making a straw purchase.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:04 am |
  24. agnar150

    What would you do with it? You would shoot it at a gun range. It is about freedom to be an American. Once that freedom is gone there will be no advantage to being one.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:58 am |
  25. Jim

    Hi Wolf,

    Under Arizona law, any gun surendered must be resold.

    The state House voted Thursday to slam the door on gun buyback programs - even when the owners specifically ask that their weapons be destroyed.

    Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, said HB 2455 simply clarifies existing laws which requires governments to sell any weapons that have been seized. The law also covers "found property," which is defined as anything recovered, lost or abandoned that is not needed as evidence.


    But that has not stopped several communities from continuing their programs, saying they remain able to obtain - and destroy - weapons given voluntarily to police. So this legislation, approved on a 36-23 margin, addresses that by adding the word "surrendered" to what is considered found and therefore must be sold off.

    March 12, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • John

      I thought it was funny how people were hanging outside the buyback programs in AZ and outbidding the police for weapons people wanted to sell.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  26. Diraphe

    Of course it was "pretty easy" you have a spotless background...also this new fangled thing called computers

    March 12, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  27. David 4Guns

    Tell me who in the military use an AR15 in combat?

    March 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Incredulous

      The vast majority of the modern US Infantryman arsenal is based off the AR=15 platform.

      The M-16 is the official military designation. Since the AR-15, the platform has been improved upon many times.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  28. Scare The Pilgrims

    So ? What else is new ?

    March 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  29. Jim Thomas

    He could buy drugs faster as they donot ask for a background check.If he was recognized that is why it only took 5 min. to buy a weapon.Pushers donot care who they sell to as long as they get money.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    March 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • whodatperson

      Some states ENCOURAGE you to get high and still sell you a gun! Imagine that intelligence! lol

      March 13, 2013 at 10:12 am |

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