An upstate gun store owner said on Sunday that he recently sold an assault weapon to accused Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron – and he ‘feels bad’ about it. of the teenager’s alleged crime.
Robert Donald of Vintage Firearms in Endicott, NY, told The New York Times that he learned Saturday night from federal agents that he had recently sold the 18-year-old suspect a Bushmaster assault weapon.
“I didn’t know until they called me,” Donald told the outlet. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Gendron previously said in a race-hate manifesto that he planned to use a Bushmaster XM-15 in his assault, which ended up killing 10 people at a supermarket on Saturday.
Donald said he does not recall details of his gun sale to Gendron due to the volume of clients he serves, but two officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are came to his store at 7:30 p.m. to collect the documents related to the purchase.
The shop’s background check on Gendron turned up no red flags, Donald said.
“He didn’t stand out,” he said of the teenager. “Because if he had, I would never have sold him the gun.
“I don’t understand why an 18-year-old would even do that,” Donald said. “I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but I feel bad about it.”
Donald said he rarely sells the type of assault rifle Gendron is looking for and instead specializes in vintage pistols.
Gendron allegedly modified the firearm to make it more lethal. Donald said the gun was legal when it was sold.
“Even with all these safety features – which is the only way I’m selling it – any weapon can be easily modified if you really want to,” the gun shop owner said.
Gendron is accused of targeting black customers after traveling to Buffalo to carry out the shooting.