When D.C. resident Seth Horvitz ordered a flat-panel TV on Amazon, he didn’t expect to get a military-grade assault rifle in return. Horvitz ordered the TV, a Westinghouse 39-inch LCD, for about $320 from a third-party electronics seller on Amazon.
On Tuesday evening, a large, oblong box arrived at his doorstep via UPS Ground.
“When I saw some metal parts inside the box, I thought, ‘Maybe this is a TV stand or mount or something,’" he said on a phone interview with Wired.
You can tell that he was shocked. And I quote: “When I realized it was an assault rifle, it was pure shock and disbelief.”
Doing what he should, Horvitz contacted the local DC police. Upon arrival, the police immediately confiscated the box, which contained a semi-automatic Sig Sauer 716 patrol rifle. The police informed Horvitz that the gun was illegal in the District of Columbia (which is why they probably took the gun very quickly).
|Horvitz tried to submit his review to Amazon, but they rejected it.|
“I’m not sure how it happened,” Sidney said.”We order a lot from the internet, but this is the first time this has ever happened.”
“I was more or less the middleman,” Sidney said. “The guy ordered stuff from the internet, it has to go through an approved federal firearms licensed shop…. You verify licenses on both ends, the shipper and the receiver, and you ship the gun to the approved ATF FFL holder.”
But last night he got a call from a police officer saying the gun has been mis-delivered and that it’s in impound waiting for him to pick it up.
When Horvitz tried to contact Amazon and the third party seller, Amazon customer service basically gave him “the standard line of sending a dispute claim for sending the wrong product.”
The actual mix up was with UPS labels on the box. There was actually two of them, and Horvitz's address was the one on top, so presumably UPS delivered the box to his home instead of the gun shop.
“[The police] were kind of confused at first,” Horvitz said. “They spent some time inspecting the gun, asking some questions about how I made the Amazon purchase…. They confirmed that it was a weapon that you can’t own in the district. They said by law that you can’t return this; we have to confiscate it and handle it for you.”
The man just wants his TV, so lets all hope that he eventually gets his TV. It is shame that this happens to people, right?