Journalist buys semi-automatic rifle from US gun shop in just seven minutes

Helen Ubiñas says it took longer to hand the gun in than to buy it

US, Orlando, gun laws, Daily News, columnist, Helen Ubinas, semiautomatic rifle, AR-15

In this file photo, an employee demonstrates how a "bump" stock works | Image: Allen Breed / AP/Press Association Images

A US journalist has claimed she bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in just seven minutes.

This is the same gun that was used in the Orlando terror attack, which left 49 people dead.

But Philadelphia Daily News columnist Helen Ubiñas says she purchased it in Philadelphia on Monday, the day after the shooting.

"Seven minutes. From the moment I handed the salesperson my driver's license to the moment I passed my background check", she writes.

"It likely will take more time than that during the forthcoming round of vigils to respectfully read the names of the more than 100 people who were killed or injured."

She says she did not even need a cover story as to why she wanted the weapon.

"The AR-15 is on display in the window of the gun shop. It is being promoted as the gun of the week."

Asked if she had identification and was a US citizen, all she had to do was fill out paperwork.

"I told the guy I was on a budget, so I got an AR-15 for $759.99. God bless America," she adds.

"No need for a concealed carry permit. No mandatory training, though the guys did give me a coupon for a free day pass for a local gun range."

"To be fair, there was an extra 10 or 15 minutes or so of chitchat inside the gun store before I walked out with a cardboard box with the words Smith & Wesson emblazoned on it."

Ubiñas says she then decided to hand the gun over to police, rather than keep it or put it in anyone else's hands.

"I drove to the Philadelphia police's Sixth District...where I seemed to stump more than a few officers when I explained who I was and what I wanted to do."

"Have you ever tried to turn in a gun in this city? Spoiler alert: It takes longer than it does to buy a gun," she adds.