An anonymous California businessman has reportedly donated $62,500 to ensure that the firearms used in the 2017 massacre at a Las Vegas concert will be destroyed.
The donor, only described as a San Francisco software executive, recently came forward after hearing debate over whether to sell the weapons to raise money for the victims or have them destroyed, The New York Times reported.
“It was tugging at my heartstrings and it seemed like a horrific situation for the families to deal with this choice,” the donor, who said he is not an anti-gun activist but does favor stronger gun control, told the paper. “I wanted to alleviate some of the pain or at least not allow it to get worse.”
Two dozen firearms, consisting of 23 rifles and a revolver, were recovered in the hotel rooms used by the gunman, Stephen Paddock, as he fired upon concertgoers, leaving 58 people dead and hundreds more injured. An additional 18 firearms, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found at Paddock’s home in Mesquite. Seven other guns were found at his home in Reno, authorities said.
Paddock didn’t leave behind a will and so his estate, under Nevada law, was turned over to his mother, who agreed to give it to the victims.
Alice Denton, the lawyer for Paddock’s estate, told the Times that the FBI had verbally agreed to destroy the weapons, valued at around $62,300, if it was ordered by a court. Denton said she will request such an order next month from a Las Vegas judge.
Denton had told the Times earlier this month that though the value of the guns isn’t a “huge amount ... it would help to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
The anonymous donor said that if the FBI decides not to destroy the firearms, he would try to find another way to have it done.
Denton, who did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment, confirmed to CNN that the donor’s money has been deposited into her trust account.