For most consumers who order items off the internet, you would expect to receive the correct goods within a current amount of time. Sometimes your purchases you receive may be the wrong brand or perhaps faulty… but do you ever expect to receive a completely different (albeit dangerous) item? That is exactly what happened to a man from Washington D.C. who ordered a 39″ Westinghouse TV from a third party supplier of Amazon but instead received a military grade high-powered rifle.
When Mr Seth Horvitz discovered the oblong package at his door, he questioned the UPS Ground employee if there was another package as it did not appear big enough to fit a 39″ TV. The delivery person claimed that this was the only package he had down for postage to Mr Horvitz’s address and proceeded on back to his other deliveries.
A slightly confused Mr Horvitz then thought that the box contained a stand for his new TV, so he was not completely weary of the odd shape of the package. However, when he discovered that the contents were part of a SIG Sauer SIG716 rifle, he commented in a phone interview with Wired that he was in ‘pure shock and disbelief’. Mr Horvitz, who has never owned a gun in his life and wasn’t about to start any time soon, promptly contacted police. The police officers who arrived were quite puzzled by the mix up and proceeded to confiscate the weapon stating that it is not legal to carry this specific firearm in the District of Colombia.
The question remains as to how the rifle appeared at Mr Horvitz’s address instead of his 39″ Westinghouse TV?
From careful inspection of the parcel’s contents, Mr Horvitz states that the rifle invoice was meant for the Independence Gun Shop (a licensed arm dealer) in Duncansville, Pennsylvania. The seller, Florida Gun Exchange in Omand Beach, expressed that the rifle was shipped properly in line with the law and with the correct delivery address on the box. However, it appears that during transit with UPS Ground the address sticker on the box had fallen off or become damaged, and that is when Mr Horvitz’s name and address label was accidentally attached.
Considering the high amount of people that die from gun related injuries in the US each year (almost 11, 500 people since the Newtown shootings), there have been concerns expressed by anti gun lobby groups regarding the lack of safety and security when shipping armed weapons across the country. According to Daniel Vice from The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, there are “Not many restrictions. You can’t ship a handgun through the Postal Service, but you can ship it by any other common carrier. Rifles and shotguns, even assault rifles, can be shipped through just about anyone.” This can be quite unnerving considering the package was merely left at Mr Horvitz’s front door where anyone could have gotten a hold of it. Mr Horvitz believes that, “It was absurd to think it could just be left out in the hallway first of all and this kind of mix up could happen.”
The latest news is that Mr Horvitz is apparently still waiting for his much anticipated 39″ Westinghouse TV.