PENSACOLA, FL — A viral story about a Facebook post concerning a baby shower gift that was anything but baby-proof is being decried as inflammatory by readers who are commenting in record numbers.
Veronica Alvarez-Rodriguez and her husband thought they had gotten a bang for their buck when they purchased a Baby Einstein bouncer for less than $10 at a Goodwill in Valparaiso to give to a couple at a baby shower in Crestview, Florida.
Alvarez-Rodriguez said the box looked new and appeared to be unopened, so she saw no need to look inside before purchasing it.
The baby bouncer box contained a Mossberg 715T semi-automatic rifle. Earlier reports stated that the rifle was loaded with live ammunition. In another Facebook post on Dec. 4, Alvarez-Rodriguez set the record straight.
A Mossberg 715 is a tactical rifle that shoots .22-caliber bullets, the smallest ammunition available for rifles commonly sold at sporting goods and gun stores.
A semi-automatic rifle, like the Mossberg 715, is a type of self-loading rifle that automatically ejects and re-chambers a new round after each shot. The user need to manually release the trigger and recock the sear and hammer before firing another shot. Therefore, only one round is discharged each time the trigger is pulled.
Founded in 1919, O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc. introduced the 715T rifle in 2010, and hunters rushed to purchase it because of its relatively inexpensive price tag and cheap ammunition.
Until recently, Bass Pro Shops was selling the rifle online for $279.95. Sportsman's Outdoor Superstore had the rifle on sale on its website for $199, marked down from $299. Both stores no longer have the rifle available online. Cabela's still has Mossberg 715s in stock for $279.95, according to its website.
However, those who have purchased the rifle say they're disappointed. They say the gun has a tendency to jam and the small size of the ammunition limits users to rabbit and squirrel hunting.
"Bought the rifle, took it to the range and faulted to feed from two different magazines. Bought another mag. The same, not feeding. It was thoroughly cleaned and still failed to feed. Wasted $200. Would not recommend," said one reviewer on the Sportsman Outdoor Superstore website."You get what you pay for. I have no idea how others had luck with theirs. But mine jams or fails to feed every 3-4 shots. I can't depend on this gun," posted another reviewer on Sportsman Outdoor Superstore.
Mossberg did not respond to requests for comment and have not spoken publicly about the Goodwill mix up.
A fully automatic rifle cycles the cartridges and releases the hammer automatically so, while the trigger is pulled, the gun fires continuous rounds. Examples include the Thompson Submachine Gun, the M-2 Carbine Machine Gun and the M-14 Machine Gun.
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.
Following the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, that killed 58 people and wounded 413, the ATF passed an amendment to the 1986 act banning bump stocks as of March 26, 2019. A bump stock is a conversion kit used to turn a firearm into an automatic weapon. The amendment was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
In the Las Vegas massacre, shooter Stephen Paddock stockpiled 23 firearms and used about a dozen of the guns to kill festival goers including semi-automatic rifles that were modified to fire as automatic weapons.
Patch readers also rightfully objected to the description of the Mossberg 715 as an AR-15 or AR-15-type rifle.
In 1959, the Colt Manufacturing Co. purchased the AR-15 model of semi-automatic rifle from ArmaLite (AR stands for ArmaLite, not automatic rifle or assault rifle.) Colt's patent expired in 1977, but the company still owns the trademark for the AR-15.
Just to clear up any confusion, the AR-15 is nothing like the Russian AK-15, which cycles at a rate of 700 rounds per minute. The AK-15 is mainly used by elite units of the Russian military, according to Military Today.
El Paso, Texas, police originally reported that the shooter who killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, 2019, used a Russian-made AK-47-style rifle.
While the rifle used by shooter Patrick Crusius resembles the AK-47, Crusius said in a 2,356-word "manifesto" that appeared on an anonymous message board less than a half hour before the shooting that the gun he was using was a Wassenaar Arrangement-10 semi-automatic rifle that he purchased legally online through a dealer in Romania.
This is a semi-automatic version of the AK-47 automatic. It is widely used by members of the Romanian military. The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, was developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1948. It fires 600 rounds per minute, according to Military Today.
The NRA calls the AR-15 the most popular rifle in the U.S., widely used by hunters, competitors and for home defense. One reason for its popularity is it's made from a lightweight aluminum alloy. Additionally, the AR-15 can use both .223 Remington sporting cartridges and 5.56 NATO military cartridges with 20- or 30-round detachable box magazines, allowing it to fire 45 rounds per minute.
Gun advocates say the AR-15 has been vilified because of its reported use in some of America's worst massacres. The NRA said the AR-15 unfairly acquired the reputation as the weapon of choice by mass shooters because law enforcement agencies routinely described the weapons used in these shootings as "AR-15-style rifles."
While an AR-15 was used in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019, in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people, the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter killed 49 people using a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle, a semi-automatic rifle that shoots 30 rounds, and a Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol which, as the name implies, shoots 17 rounds before it requires reloading.
On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School Colorado shooters used both a Hi-Point 994 Carbine with 13 10-round magazines and a Savage-Springfield 67H pump action shotgun.
The shooter who killed 28 students and staff members at Sandy Hook High School on Dec. 14, 2012, used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle and a Glock 20SF handgun.
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Twenty-three-year-old Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in April 2007 after purchasing a Walther P-22 pistol online and a 9mm Glock from a firearms dealer.
When Alvarez-Rodriguez posted the viral news about the unexpected baby shower gift on Facebook, sparking a debate on what constitutes an assault rifle wasn't on her agenda. She said she simply wanted to warn people not to take a photo on a box at face value when purchasing items from Goodwill, The Salvation Army and other nonprofit secondhand stores.
The father-to-be, who is in the military, turned the weapon over to the Crestview Police Department. The department has confirmed that the weapon isn't listed as stolen so both the Crestview and Valparaiso Police are checking the ATF database to determine who donated the item to Goodwill.
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