Woman buys rifle so she can destroy it after El Paso, Dayton mass shootings: 'It's a killing machine'

Mahira Dayal
A woman purchased and then destroyed a rifle after the weekend shootings (Credit: Getty Images)
A woman purchased and then destroyed a rifle after the weekend shootings (Credit: Getty Images)

A woman made a political statement by buying a gun with the intent to destroy it, in response to the deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Sandy Skaggs, who lives in Kansas City, Mo., tells Yahoo Lifestyle that her friend asked her to store a gun while she left the state. Skaggs reluctantly agreed, telling her friend that she wanted to buy the gun and either give it away or get rid of it.

But after witnessing the tragic attacks over the weekend, she decided that giving it away wasn’t enough.

“I had reservations about even having the gun in my house,” Skaggs says. “I asked my friend if she would be willing to sell it, and badgered her about it several times. Then, I watched the reports about the events in El Paso and Dayton, and like everyone else, I was touched. I texted her and asked if she was ready to sell — and she said yes.”

After she sent her check in the mail and the gun was hers, Skaggs set off to the police station yesterday, with her husband and granddaughter to turn in the gun. She clarifies that she didn’t want it reused by the police as a sniper, or something else, she wanted to make sure it was gone.

“The gun had a really nice scope and some other features like a big magazine — I didn’t want it dismantled or taken apart. I wanted it destroyed,” she says. “We went over to the police station and handed it over, and they promised it will go to the smelter. They assured me it would be taken care of.”

While the woman affirms that she isn’t against owning a gun for self-defense or hunting, she thinks this one is dangerous. “It’s a killing machine,” she says.

Skaggs says she believes the gun she turned in was an AR-15 rifle. The Wall Street Journal reported that the shooter, who killed 9 people and injured multiple others in the Dayton shooting on Sunday, used “an AR-15 style pistol” in his attack, according to police.

A spokesperson for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the department accepts “all types of weapons” and destroys them the same way they destroy other unclaimed or unwanted property.

“Firearms are usually melted,” the spokesperson says. “Typically it’s relatives who inherit a weapon and have no use for it so they turn it into their local law enforcement agency to have it destroyed, which is common practice across the country.”

Skaggs says she has received lots of support from friends, many of whom reached out to her on Facebook, after they heard about her initiative to destroy the gun.

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