"...which he now says he intended as an illustration of the need for more stringent gun laws."
What bullshit, how does this illustrate anything? If anyone still thinks there isn't a distinct upper class that thinks they need to tell us lowlifes how to live, they're deaf, dumb, and blind, living in a cave.
Couldn't be the old "double standard" of the well-off & famous, could it? The man's either a prevaricator or a hypocrite . . . since they admit to "owning a few handguns," his claimed purpose for making the straw purchase was to learn first-hand how easy it was to legally purchase an AR sounds a bit hollow having been there before . . . the old "hand in the cookie jar" defensive posture . . .
I think I would have offered to buy the rifle (or pistol) from him. If he sold it to me, I would ask him why he didn't require that I have a concealed weapons permit at the time of transfer? I'd never sell or give a firearm to anyone who didn't have a CWP unless they were family with no criminal or behavioral problem history.
When are folks going to get it into their heads that it is about behavior and not about firearms? Just makes me nuts.