WASHINGTON (CBS) — A D.C. man ordered a high-definition television from a third-party Amazon.com vendor, but instead he received an item that he couldn’t legally possess or return to its sender: a Sig Sauer SIG716, a Swiss-made 7.6 pound, 37-inch-long assault rifle.

Seth Horvitz, a Northeast D.C. resident, knew something was amiss when the oddly-shaped box arrived. Horvitz and his wife, Seeta, were shocked to find a gun instead of the television they thought they had ordered. According to the Dcist.com, they called the Metropolitan Police Department right away. David Cole, a friend of Horvitz’s said that Seeta’s reaction was “basically ‘get that out of here now.’ ”

The two officers inspected the SIG716 and quickly hauled it away.

Horvitz’s name and address were on the mailing label. But inside the box, an invoice contained the address of a Pennsylvania gun shop. Swiss Arms AG describes it as “the rifle of choice when you require the power of a larger caliber carbine – a potent AR-based rifle.”

Washington has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the U.S. It was both illegal for Horvitz to possess the assault rifle or to ship it across state lines from the District, according to DCist.

“They just took my information and then said we’ll handle this weapon because it’s illegal to keep here,” Horvitz told Fox 5. “It’s illegal to transport in a car, so it couldn’t be returned.”

Requests for comment were not returned by Amazon as of late Wednesday afternoon.

The manner in which Horvitz stumbled upon the assault rifle is concerning to many in light of the mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., July 20 and at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Aug. 5.

James Holmes, the man who is suspected of shooting 70 people, killing 12, in Aurora, reportedly purchased thousands of bullets and ballistic gear on the Internet in the months before the massacre.

“Items get mixed up sometimes, but never on this scale,” Horvitz told DCist. “I didn’t think I was getting into a gun/electronics dealer.”

-Benjamin Fearnow


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