Software Exec Donates $62,500 to Have Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock’s Guns Destroyed
Posted on: January 28, 2019, 07:08h.
Last updated on: January 28, 2019, 07:08h.
An anonymous San Francisco software executive has donated $62,500 in a bid to ensure the guns used by Stephen Paddock to perpetrate the worse mass shooting in America’s history are destroyed.
Paddock was able to smuggle an arsenal of 23 firearms — mainly rifles — into his room on 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. On October 1, 2017 he began firing thousands of rounds in rapid succession from his window at an open-air country music concert across the Strip, killing 58 people and injuring more than 800 hundred.
Police found 14 AR-15 rifles among the cache, all of which were outfitted with bump fire stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to simulate fully-automatic gunfire by harnessing the gun’s recoil to “bump” the trigger faster. Some of the AR-15s were resting on bipods and were equipped with high-tech telescopic sights.
Paddock’s entire firearms collection has been evaluated at $62,300.
Estate Ceded to Victims
Alice Denton is the lawyer for the special administrator for Paddock’s $1.4 million estate, appointed by a judge when the gunman’s mother ceded the estate to his victims. She confirmed to CNN that the donation had been received in her trust account, adding that whether the guns will be destroyed or not has to be up to the courts to decide — as with all matters related to the estate.
There is another argument that says they should be sold along with Paddock’s other assets, with the profits going to victims’ families. But the anonymous businessman hopes his donation will put an end to the dilemma.
He was moved to come forward after reading an article about the predicament of what to do with the guns in the New York Times.
“It was tugging at my heart strings and it seemed like a horrific situation for the families to deal with this choice,” he told NYT. “I wanted to alleviate some of the pain or at least not allow it to get worse.”
“I think the families would feel better if the weapons are gone,” he added.
Family Plans to Sue Gun Makers
But the family of one of Paddock’s victims doesn’t want the guns destroyed at all — at least not yet. Rick Friedman — a lawyer representing the family — told CNN that his clients are considering legal action against the guns’ manufacturers and want them preserved as evidence.
“The family does not care about guns that were not used in the shooting being destroyed,” Friedman told CNN, “…but guns that were used in shooting, they want preserved until any legal stuff is over.”
In December, the Trump administration banned bump stocks, declaring them illegal under federal law — a direct reaction to the Las Vegas massacre. Those who own such devices have 90 days from December 18 to turn them in or destroy them, or they face prosecution.
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