There are always bargains to be found at Goodwill. But one couple in Florida got a bit more than they bargained for when a baby jumper they purchased at Goodwill for $10 turned out to be a Mossberg 715T rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle. The weapon is a variation on Mossberg’s small caliber Plinkster rifles designed to resemble an AR-15.
According to the story that first circulated on social media before being picked up by a number of news outlets, the Baby Einstein Activity Jumper was purchased on their way to their baby shower. Veronica Alvarez-Rodriguez, who described herself to the Northwest Florida Daily News as a “military wife,” claimed that her husband was “thrilled” when he found the rifle, exclaiming, “you guys got me a gun?” Her husband’s name or connection to the U.S. military has not been released to the public.
According to Alvarez-Rodriguez, the box was taped shut and appeared to be sealed, as though it had never been opened at all. She also uploaded a video, likely in response to comments suggesting that the discovery was a hoax, showing that the rifle does indeed fit inside the box.
According to Alvarez-Rodriguez, they immediately contacted police, who sent a uniformed officer to their house to run their IDs and confirm that neither parent was a convicted felon barred from owning a firearm. Initially, the responding officer allowed the couple to keep the rifle while the investigation unfolded. The following day the decision was made to take the rifle into custody until a more thorough vetting of the firearm’s origin could be completed.
The Crestview Police Department has confirmed that the incident took place on December 1 and that an investigation is currently ongoing. It also confirmed that the family voluntarily relinquished the firearm to officers for investigation. Thus far, the police has confirmed that the weapon has not been reported stolen.
They are currently reviewing records sourced from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to discern the rifle’s purchase history. They also believe that the weapon must have been donated to a Goodwill collection point somewhere between Tallahassee and Pensacola.
Right now, officers have said that they have no evidence to suggest that the rifle ended up at Goodwill as the result of a crime, and may have even been donated unintentionally.
“You can imagine we get all kinds of crazy things — some are donated intentionally and some accidentally, so it’s not uncommon for weird things to come through,” said Tamara Williams, Goodwill’s vice president of human resources. “We’ve had someone’s ashes donated.”
The Baby Einstein company has also chimed in, promising to send Alvarez-Rodriguez and her family a brand new, still in box, baby jumper.