Alec Baldwin denied possession of weapon used in Sandy Hook school shooting

CASTELLOS, PUERTO RICO — As police continue to investigate the illegal ownership of a .38-caliber handgun they say was found on Alec Baldwin’s property in Caserta, a company that manufactures some of the handguns…

Alec Baldwin denied possession of weapon used in Sandy Hook school shooting

CASTELLOS, PUERTO RICO — As police continue to investigate the illegal ownership of a .38-caliber handgun they say was found on Alec Baldwin’s property in Caserta, a company that manufactures some of the handguns used by law enforcement agencies says the weapon is legal and safe.

The Mossberg Arms booth where Baldwin received a training session is just down the hall from a gun store where onlookers said the actor was seen making purchases Wednesday morning.

Darren Lane, a visitor to the booth, confirmed the actor was in the store that morning and may have purchased an AR-15 assault rifle, which is legal under state law.

A similar rifle, the AR-15 17-62 that is not a submachine gun, has been at the center of a Washington melee. It is one of a variety of guns that people from across the country have been able to buy without a background check, raising questions about the ubiquity of the firearm.

The retail company and the manufacturer where Baldwin received instruction Wednesday, Cunningham Castle Firearms, said the actor took an “extreme safety course” and met face-to-face with licensed experts, who explained the proper storage and proper transportation of the weapon.

The visit to the company was the first Baldwin has made to the gun maker, which has a booth on display during the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual SHOT Show. Every year the company distributes thousands of weapons to law enforcement agencies.

Baldwin arrived late Wednesday afternoon at the Caserta shooting range in Puerto Rico and took a firearm safety course. Caserta police Lt. Paul Barnhart did not comment on the actor’s handgun. “We’re not confirming any weapons or gang activity,” he said.

A person familiar with the matter said Baldwin has been accused of reckless endangerment, which has also been reported as a felony offense. Police have not confirmed those details.

Baldwin was in Puerto Rico as a special guest of the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Association. Representatives for the association did not return messages seeking comment.

A woman who has been acting as a spokeswoman for the actor said Wednesday that her client “had no legal possession of that weapon.” She said that he was “trained and made it legal.”

“It is just the safety standard that everyone goes through,” she said, without elaborating.

A few hours after Baldwin received his concealed weapons license, a woman answered the phone at the company’s Connecticut headquarters. Charles Cunningham, president of the company, said no one was available to answer questions on the Baldwin incident.

“I’m sure the FBI, New York City police and Caserta Police will handle that,” he said.

The following day, Crowley Castle, the company that manufactures the firearm that Baldwin allegedly had, released a statement.

“We wish him the best of luck,” the statement said. “Our commitment to full, full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations is an absolute priority.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the weapon in question. It is a 17-62, which is not a submachine gun.

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