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,’” Horvitz said in a phone interview with Wired.
“When I realized it was an assault rifle, it was pure shock and disbelief.”
Not being one to want a personal “shock and awe” arsenal of his own, Horvitz contacted the D.C. police. They 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.
“[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