Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis tried to buy an AR-15 assault rifle at a Virginia gun store last week after test firing one, but the store wouldn’t sell it to him right away, CBS News has learned.
The reason for the refusal isn’t clear.
Alexis then purchased a shotgun he used in his rampage, sources tell CBS News.
The owners of two gun stores in Virginia told CBS News Alexis would have been able to buy an AR-15, he just wouldn’t have gotten it right away.
Anyone can buy the [semi-automatic rifle] in Virginia, but the dealer would have to observe the laws of the buyer’s home state.
It appears unlikely Alexis was a Virginia resident. His last reported full-time residency was in Texas.
If the buyer is an out-of-state resident, the dealer would then ship the weapon to the buyer’s home state where a background check would be conducted.
At the time of purchase in Virginia, however, the buyer would have to show two proofs of residence with matching addresses and then a proof of citizenship. This is all according to federal law when it comes to sales of the AR-15, which are administered by the ATF.
It is also unclear whether the owner of Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, Virginia, where Alexis tried to buy the AR-15 about 15 miles from the Navy Yard, told Alexis he was not allowed to buy an assault rifle, or whether Alexis was simply impatient and decided to buy a shotgun instead.