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The 20-year-old Turkish Muslim immigrant who murdered five random people in a Macy’s in a Burlington (WA) mall north of Seattle did so with a very common .22 rifle had attempted to buy a handgun just hours before the shooting.

Detectives have confirmed that the man accused of shooting and killing five people in a mall north of Seattle tried unsuccessfully to buy a handgun just hours before the slayings.

A___ C___*, 20, was identified by members of the Skagit County Multi-Agency Response Team Wednesday as the man on surveillance video recorded by the gun store, according to agency spokesman Sgt. Mark Francis.

The store owner said something was “off” about the man who came into her store between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, asking about purchasing a .45-caliber handgun, the Seattle Times reported. The woman said she immediately decided not to sell him a firearm.

The store owner asked the newspaper to only identify her by her first name, Dawn, because of safety concerns.

Shortly after C___’s visit to the gun shop, C___ used his stepfather’s .22-caliber Ruger rifle to open fire at a department store cosmetic counter at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, authorities said.

He shot all five people in one minute and left the rifle with a 25-round magazine on a cosmetics counter before fleeing, police said in court documents. The victims ranged from a 16-year-old girl to a woman in her 90s and included a probation officer and a Boeing maintenance worker.

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“Discrimination” is typically hurled about as an epithet in our politically-correct society, but it is a requirement among responsible federal firearm licensees, and something actively championed by the ATF in the interests of public safety.

While it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been behind a gun counter, I’ve refused to sell firearms to a number of people for reasons as variable as the slight hint of alcohol on one man’s breath, to a glazed expression suggesting drug use in the face of another, to one man who asked very odd questions suggesting that he wasn’t “all there,” to a father and son I refused to sell a hunting rifle to because the window-lickers simply struck me as being too stupid to be responsible with a firearm (though telling them so candidly was probably a career ender with that sporting goods store, now that I think about it).

The gun store owner here did what most FFLs do: she used her best judgement, experience, and intuition to discern disturbing behavior, and rightfully discriminated against a potential threat. In doing so, she stopped a mass murderer from acquiring a more lethal and concealable firearm, limited his attack options, and quite likely saved numerous lives.

* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass or spree killers.