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American journalist buys semi-automatic rifle in just seven minutes

Helen Ubiñas has received hate mail after writing about the experience.

File photo of an AR15
File photo of an AR15
Image: Wikimedia

AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST has said she was able to buy a semi-automatic rifle in Philadelphia in just seven minutes.

Helen Ubiñas said she bought an AR-15, the same type of gun used in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida over the weekend.

Writing on philly.com, Ubiñas said: “Seven minutes. From the moment I handed the salesperson my driver’s license to the moment I passed my background check.

“It likely will take more time than that during the forthcoming round of vigils to respectfully read the names of the more than 100 people who were killed or injured.

“It’s obscene. Horrifying.”

Ubiñas has shared some of the hate mail she received after writing the article:

The attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando is the worst mass shooting in modern US history – 49 people were killed and more than 50 injured.

The shooter, Omar Mateen, was investigated by the FBI twice – but still bought guns legally last week. Authorities say Mateen was not under surveillance, but that in 2014 they discovered he had ties to an American suicide bomber. They said the ties were minimal and they didn’t think he represented a threat at the time.

Obama and Trump

In the wake of the attack, President Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have been among those to call for stricter gun laws in the US.

On Monday, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump told CNN:

If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.

Mateen, pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS) in a phone call to emergency services during the standoff at the club on sunday morning.

His father, Seddique Mir Mateen, told reporters the massacre was “the act of a terrorist”, but said he believed his son was primarily motivated by a hatred of gay people.

Obama has criticised Trump and the Republican party for “loose talk” and anti-Muslim rhetoric, warning that their populist election message was dangerous and un-American.

- Contains reporting from AP and © AFP 2016

Read: FBI questioning Orlando shooter’s wife over claims she knew his plan

Read: ‘I’m next, I’m dead’: Survivors of the Orlando nightclub massacre speak out

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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