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DC Man Orders TV From Amazon, Gets Assault Rifle Instead

Thursday, 9 Aug 2012 | 11:18 AM ET
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Kevin P. Casey | Bloomberg | Getty Images
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It's not yet clear how it happened, but a Washington, D.C., musician who ordered a flat-screen TV through Amazon received a military-style assault rifle instead.

Seth Horvitz ordered the 39-inch Westinghouse TV last week through one of Amazon's third-party vendors, WTTG-TV reported. On Tuesday, UPS left a smaller box at his apartment in northeast D.C. The 38-year-old electronic musician told The Washington Post he thought the seller had sent him a stand for the set.

Inside, Horvitz found a black, semiautomatic Sig Sauer SIG716, similar to the M16, which U.S. forces have carried for 50 years, and the AR-10. The SIG716 is used by law enforcement and the military.

Man Orders TV, Gets Assault Rifle
A Washington, DC man talks about getting an assault rifle delivered to his doorstep instead of the flat-screen TV he had ordered from one of Amazon¿s third-party vendors.

"I was confused as to how that kind of mix-up could happen," he told the Post. "It surprised me to see how easy it would be for a gun to show up on someone's doorstep — not just a gun, but an assault weapon."

The box had two mailing labels: one with his name and address, the other for a Pennsylvania gun store that had ordered it from a supplier. Neither the gun store nor the supplier was identified.

Horvitz notified the sender and called D.C. police. He told the Fox station the two officers who responded "were a little confused at first; they've never seen anything quite like it."

"They just took my information and then said we'll handle this weapon because it's illegal to keep here. It's illegal to transport in a car, so it can't be returned."

On Deadline has asked Amazon whether it has determined how the mix-up occurred and whether it has any policies covering gun purchases. We'll update if we get answers.

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