Las Vegas Shooter Bought Weapons at a Combination Guns and Music Store
Stephen Paddock, the shooter who killed 59 people on the Las Vegas strip Sunday night, purchased weapons legally from at least two Nevada gun shops, according to statements that the shops issued in the wake of the shooting. The first is New Frontier Armory, in North Las Vegas, and the second is Guns & Guitars, in Mesquite, about an hour northeast of the city. It is unclear, however, whether the guns he purchased at these stores were the same as those he used in the shooting.
Guns & Guitars is exactly what it sounds like: a combination arms dealer and music store. Its website currently advertises a “student guitar special”–$99 for a starter acoustic guitar with a strap and four picks–immediately above a bullet points about trigger replacement and scope mounting, and beside scheduled events with names like “Fundamentals of armed home defense.”
“All necessary background checks and procedures were followed, as required by local, state, and federal law. He never gave any indication or reason to believe he was unstable or unfit at any time,” read the statement from Christopher Sullivan, the shop’s general manager, according to NBC News. “We are currently cooperating with the ongoing investigation by local and federal law enforcement in any way we can.” (Sullivan’s statement did not disclose what sorts of weapons Paddock bought there. New Frontier Armory’s statement said that he purchased a shotgun and a rifle.)
Of course, rifles sold next to musical instruments aren’t any deadlier than any others, but it says something ugly about American gun culture that it’s possible to casually peruse the tools of mass murder while waiting to pick up your kid from guitar lessons. More to the point is the fact that Paddock was able to purchase a deadly arsenal without breaking any laws, whether or not he used the guns from these stores during the shooting. Our laws allowed this massacre to happen, and need to change.