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The gun shop owners who sold Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz the AR-15 he used to fatally shoot 17 high school students this week have broken their silence on the tragedy via their attorneys.

Speaking on behalf of Michael and Lisa Morrison, owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, attorney Douglas Rudman told reporters on Thursday evening that the couple is distraught after learning their weapon was used in such a horrific event.

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“The tremendous sense of responsibility in this situation and just horribleness that they feel that one of their weapons fell into the hands of this maniac,” he said. “They are scared — not just for their safety — but more importantly about how the reaction is going to be for the rest of the community as they try to re-enter it.”

Rudman also pointed out that Cruz purchased the gun from the couple, but did not buy any ammunition, accessories or modifications with it.

“It is for that reason that no red flags were raised,” he said, as federal law enforcement confirmed the rifle was purchased legally. “It seems like Mr. Cruz made a deliberate attempt to not draw suspicion by not buying too many things from one place.”

Stuart Kaplan, an attorney representing the corporate entity Sunrise Tactical Supply, added that the Morrisons ensured Cruz filled out a firearms transactions record form from the ATF, which included a copy of his driver’s license and identification information. According to them, he answered “no” to questions about whether he had been adjudicated for mental illness or whether he had been institutionalized for mental health illness.

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“I think the bigger question is: We know that he suffered from some sort of mental health illness. I guess we need to decide or find out whether or not he was being treated … and I think that loophole is whether or not a mental health professional who is treating an individual should have some sort of reporting requirement or is there some sort of database that would collect this information so that in an event that a particular person would go to purchase a weapon, we could at least screen them?” the lawyer wondered.

The shop will remain closed indefinitely.

A “CLOSED” sign hangs on the door of Sunrise Tactical Supply gun shop in Coral Springs, Fla., on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Two federal law enforcement officials say the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle used in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was purchased legally at the gun shop. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)
Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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