The owners of the gun shop where Parkland, Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz legally bought his AR-15 rifle closed their business indefinitely on Friday, according to the New York Daily News. The couple has also thrown its support behind more restrictive gun control legislation.
Michael and Lisa Morrison, who owned Sunrise Tactical Supplies, said in a statement provided by their lawyer that they were “shocked and mortified” after the shooting.
“They condemn in the strongest possible fashion anyone who uses any weapon in anger and violence,” the statement said. “They’re good family people who would never advocate violence toward anyone.”
In reaction to the revelation that Cruz was a troubled, racist, and radicalized young man, the Morrison’s said they support any measures that would require the disclosure of allegations of mental illness to agencies that govern the approval of firearm sales. That’s because despite following gun laws already in place, the Morrison’s said they had no way of fully evaluating Cruz’s mental state when they sold him the gun in January.
“There was nothing about this transaction that raised any suspicions in the minds of the owners or the employees,” lawyer Douglas Rudman said.“They performed all appropriate background checks, received all the proper clearances, and held the weapon for the required five business day waiting period.”
Cruz answered “no” to questions asking if he suffered from mental health issues or was ever institutionalized for treatment in his ATF paperwork. The store also said his ties to white supremacy and expulsion from school weren’t reason enough to withhold the firearm from him.
TMZ reported that local police were called to Cruz’s home 39 times for “strange and violent behavior,” but it’s unclear if any of those calls were made before Cruz bought the gun last January.
“They were deprived of the information they required to make an informed decision as to whether or not to sell this weapon,” the lawyer said. “They received no information as to any prior instances of outrageous or inappropriate behavior.”