After the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting killed 58 people and injured 850 more, the victims’ families were given the entire $1.2 million estate of gunman Steven Paddock. This estate included more than $62,000 worth of guns, rifles, and firearms accessories, which left the families to make a gruesome decision — should they destroy the guns, or sell them off to help cover funeral expenses, only to wonder if the guns would be used to shoot more people?
Thanks to anonymous San Francisco tech executive, the families can have it both ways. The New York Times reports that someone in San Francisco paid full price to buy all of the guns, and will have them all destroyed once the purchase is complete.
The donor insists on remaining unidentified, but did grant the Times an interview. He said he was inspired by their Jan. 6 article detailing the families’ moral dilemma over what to do with the arsenal of guns.
“It was tugging at my heart strings and it seemed like a horrific situation for the families to deal with this choice,” he told the Times. “I wanted to alleviate some of the pain or at least not allow it to get worse.”
The guns are all currently under FBI possession, and the department has agreed to destroy the weapons once they receive permission from the Nevada judge overseeing the estate’s cases. That approval is not guaranteed, because one family is suing the guns’ manufacturers, and wants to use the weapons themselves as evidence.
“What we are saying is ‘Please don’t destroy these, they are evidence,” that family’s attorney Rick Friedman told the paper. “Destroying guns he did not use, I have no problem with.”
That nameless donor seems amenable to the request. “If there is a delay in destroying some of the guns for legal reasons, I am O.K. with that,” the unidentified San Franciscan said. “I just don’t want them back on the streets.”
The Times ran the numbers and found that the gun purchase would generate about $1,100 per deceased victim’s family. Each of these families would be in line to receive about $24,000 if the estate were divided up equally.