- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2016

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - “Assault-style” guns are no longer being sold at four Coast Guard exchange stores that handle firearms, the agency confirmed.

John Riley, chief operating officer for Coast Guard exchanges, said the stores define assault-style weapons as semi-automatic guns with magazines with a capacity of at least 20 rounds, the Kodiak Daily Mirror (https://bit.ly/28PxMRe) reported.

The Coast Guard base in Kodiak is the largest in the Pacific.

The decision to stop sales of the assault-style guns followed the June 12 shooting at an Orlando, Florida, night club in which 49 people were killed.

“It was the tipping point,” Riley said. “But it’s something we’ve been looking at for several months.”

The gunman in Orlando, Omar Mateen, was armed with a Sig Sauer MCX assault rifle.

“Obviously, every time some type of event happens in which an assault-style rifle was used, typically an AR-15 - although that’s not what we carry - but a similar style, that semi-automatic with a higher capacity magazine, we end up spending a lot of time researching what we have and what’s going on,” Riley said.

It did not make sense, Riley said, for the Coast Guard to continue selling assault-style weapons.

“We notified the chain of command that, based on all of the sales and profit numbers and the amount of scrutiny we come under and the work that goes with it, it just doesn’t justify continuing to carry a small percentage of our overall business,” Riley said. “And there was concurrence.”

The Kodiak exchange in 2016 has sold about 100 guns, Riley said, and six were assault-style. Such weapons made up 9.7 percent of the weapons sold at the four Coast Guard Exchanges that carry firearms: Kodiak; Ketchikan, Alaska; Chesapeake Bay, Virginia; and Mobile, Alabama.

The Coast Guard last week directed the stores to remove the guns. Riley did not have a list of what would no longer be sold.

“We carry weapons from several different companies,” Riley said. “I can’t tell you all the names. This is a really minor issue in our mind.”

In Kodiak, 11 guns were taken off the exchange shelves out of an inventory of 182.

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