Numerous bouquets of flowers and tributes to the victims drip with Monday morning’s light drizzle on the side of Lincoln Street in Lewiston in front of Schemengees, one of the sites of last week’s mass killings by Robert Card. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The long gun found last Wednesday night in the Lewiston mass shooter’s Subaru Outback was a semi-automatic Ruger AR-10 style rifle, and the guns found with his body were a Smith & Wesson handgun and a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style rifle, officials said.

The Maine State Police have refused until now to discuss the guns that Robert Card used in his murderous attacks.

Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Monday evening that officials still do not know if any of the weapons found were used by Card to kill 18 people and injure 13 others.

The AR-10-style Ruger found in Card’s car is a SFAR rifle that fires larger and more destructive bullets than an AR-15.

“Forensic and ballistic testing still needs to be conducted to confirm whether this gun was used in the crimes at all,” Moss said Monday morning, adding that the caliber of the firearm had yet to be released.

Meanwhile, officials confirmed that a gun shop declined to sell a firearm suppressor to Card in August after he acknowledged on a federal form he had mental health issues.


Two other guns were found with Card’s body Friday night inside a trailer at the Maine Recycling Corp. in Lisbon. Moss identified those weapons Monday evening as a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 caliber handgun and a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle, which is an AR-15 style rifle. Those weapons must also be tested to confirm if they were used in the rampage, Moss said.

Card, 40, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police have said. They have not released details about when they believe he died, pending an autopsy report.

An agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said at a Saturday news conference in Lewiston that some of the guns were purchased several years ago and some more recently. Card bought all of them legally, the agent said.

Coastal Defense Firearms in Auburn told ABC News that Card had tried to buy a gun suppressor at the firearms store, but was turned away because he checked a box on paperwork showing he had been treated at a mental institution. An employee at the store confirmed for a Kennebec Journal reporter Monday that Card had not bought a gun suppressor at Coastal Defense Firearms.

“He came in and filled out the form. He checked off a box that incriminated himself, saying that he was in an institution,” Rick LaChapelle, owner of Coastal Defense Firearms and a Lewiston city councilor, told ABC News over the weekend. “Our staff was fantastic. (It) let him finish filling out the form, and said: ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Card. We cannot give you this … at this point in time. We cannot release this silencer to you because of the answers that you’ve given us.”

Matt O’Shaughnessy, public information officer at the Boston field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said a licensed gun dealer is not required to notify ATF or other federal officials after denying a sale based on the federal Form 4473. O’Shaughnessy confirmed the attempted transaction occurred Aug. 5, but did not confirm the gun store where it occurred.


The Form 4473 is required at the point of sale to determine whether someone can purchase a firearm or related equipment, such as a suppressor. One of the questions on the form asks if the customer has been committed to a mental institution, to which Card answered yes.

O’Shaughnessy said Monday the federal Form 4473 is the last step before buying a gun, but the application to buy a suppressor would have had to happen at least six to eight months in advance.

He said Card had likely passed the background check to make other firearm purchases prior to when he was evaluated at a mental health facility this past summer. Card, an Army reservist, was treated for two weeks this summer at a military hospital in New York because commanders were concerned about his erratic behavior during a training mission.

According to a criminal history record from the State Bureau of Identification, Card’s “Federal Firearms Disqualified Status” was listed as “unknown.” A list of Mainers who have had their weapons confiscated through the state’s “yellow flag” law does not appear to include anyone matching Card.

On Monday, the Kennebec Journal contacted every licensed firearms store in the Lewiston-Auburn area, and each said it had checked its records of sales and Card was not a customer. Only one store in the Twin Cities, Coastal Trading & Pawn in Auburn, declined to check records when contacted by the newspaper. An employee at the store said those at the store had no comment on whether Card had bought a gun there. Several shops in Bowdoin, where Card lived, did not answer the telephone Monday.

Records on gun sales are not public information in Maine, and the state only allows firearm stores to turn over records of sales if requested by those in law enforcement and if the request is related to an active investigation. Gun purchasers are required to fill out a Firearm Transactional Record, which stores keep on record.


Moss said Monday evening that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had asked all federally licensed firearms shops in the Lewiston-Auburn area to search their records for purchases made by Card. The agency then sent a statewide alert to all Maine licensees to broaden the scope of the search.

“During these processes,” Moss said, “several firearms were identified by ATF as having been purchased by Card in the state of Maine.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives maintains data on guns traced by police investigators. In Maine, rifles joined pistols and revolvers as the most common types of firearm traced in 2022, the most recent year for which data is available. Seven were linked to homicides that entire year. The vast majority  — 858 of 1,398 — was recovered in Hebron, a small town 14 miles northeast of Lewiston that is home to about 1,200 people.

Commissioner Michael Sauschuck of the state Department of Public Safety said Saturday that based on current information, Card was never forcibly committed to mental health treatment and would not have been flagged on any background check required of licensed gun dealers in Maine.

Gun expert Ron Keough said most AR-style firearms are used for house protection, to hunt or by the military. He said the weapons are the “most popular gun in the country.” Keough has his own business fixing guns and performing background checks on firearms shipped across the country.

“Everyone wants them — the military wants them, the police and so do Second Amendment American people,” Keough said. “It’s one of the easiest things to use. You could hand it to your 10-year-old boy or girl, and they will fire it easily. It’s easy to learn to shoot or aim, it’s a recoilless weapon and it does not kick.”

The difference between an AR-10 and an AR-15, according to experts, is the size and the bullet size capacity. Generally, an AR-10 is heavier and has larger bullets than an AR-15.

The gun identified by Moss is a Ruger SFAR semi-automatic rifle, which is a “slimmed-down version” of the AR-10, according to experts, and is described by firearm retailers as a “.308 Win in a .223 package,” alluding to the bullet sizes of an AR-10 and AR-15, respectively.

A .308-caliber bullet characteristic of an AR-10 is larger, travels with more energy and creates more damage than the .223-caliber bullet typical of an AR-15. Smaller-caliber bullets move faster, but inflict less damage.

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