Someone is selling a rifle they say was used in a mass shooting at the University of Texas campus almost 50 years ago. Charles Whitman killed 16 people on August 1, 1966 and wasn't stopped until Austin police officer Houston McCoy shot him at the top of the UT tower.
A listing on the Texas Gun Trader website shows a starting bid of $25,000 for the Remington 700 ADL with Lupold scope. Donald Weiss says he's selling it for a collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
"There was no negativism as far as purchasing the rifle," Weiss says of the anonymous seller. "It was strictly for collector value. I don’t think this thing has actually come on the market like this in over 20 years."
Weiss says the auction has generated a lot of interest, and he expects the rifle to sell for more than the initial asking price. He says there is one offer and two pending offers. But he says they'll leave it up for another five to ten days.
"I think was initially purchased way back when for collector value, and it wouldn't be used for anything else," he said when asked if the owner had considered donating it to a museum.
Texas law only bans the sale of such "murderabilia" items by the killers themselves. Senate Bill 795, passed by the state legislature in 2001, bars criminals from selling items that have added value from the "notoriety gained from the conviction." However, the law has at least in some cases been loosely enforced.