TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said Monday he recently bought an assault weapon in Tucson to make a point about the ease of background checks for gun owners.

Kelly, appearing on CNN and speaking from Florida, said he plans to turn in the AR-15 to Tucson police after he obtains. “I have no use for a gun like that,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Kelly didn’t take possession of the gun right after he bought it. An email seeking comment from him Monday wasn’t returned.

Kelly said he went to the Tucson gun store recently to buy a .45 caliber handgun, which he plans to keep.

“As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes,” Kelly told CNN. “For a weapon that’s so deadly and really designed for the military, especially with the high-capacity magazines … it’s too easy. It really shouldn’t be.”

The AR-15 is among 157 military-style weapons that would be banned under a bill pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kelly, a former astronaut, and Giffords started the Americans for Responsible Solutions gun control group. The two have toured the country in recent months in support of expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Giffords was among 13 people wounded in a January 2011 shooting as she met with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket. Six were killed. She resigned from Congress last year and still is recovering from her injuries.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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