The outrage that followed led to the revelation that Delaware State Police had been keeping lists of gun buyers for years; state law requires them to destroy these records after 60 days.
Without so much as a traffic ticket, the 81-year-old Lewes resident should have sailed through the mandatory state police background check when she tried to buy a Taurus revolver from Charlie Steele's Lewes gun shop last August.
Problems started after Steele made the required phone call to state police for approval of the firearms transaction.
An employee in the state police Firearms Transaction Approval Program noticed Vansickle's age and gender, and brought the sale to an immediate halt.
Vansickle's application was then routed to Sgt. Benjamin Nefosky, who heads the firearms approval unit.
According to MacLeish, the transaction was halted over concerns "based upon age and gender."
"To be very honest with you, we have a legal obligation under the law to do approvals," MacLeish said. "We also have an obligation to make sure we're safe, and paying due diligence."
MacLeish said the initial call taker "was concerned this individual never purchased a weapon before. Age and gender caused her to take caution."
As to whether age and gender are included in the state statute as legitimate reasons to reject a firearms purchase, MacLeish stated, "No, they are not."
"I believe there was caution taken on behalf of the call taker," he said. "It was done without malice."
Vansickle's purchase was eventually approved -- 10 days after the initial application -- after she and the dealer were interviewed by police about the purchase. A normal delay is three days."Well now I've pretty much heard everything. And outrage is too gentle a description of my feelings over this. And where are the women's organizations, the million-mommy-morons, and/or ANY female oriented group that SHOULD be raising all kinds of hell?
Oh wait, sorry I forgot. If she was caught trying to use a men's room or some other silly thing they'd back the sister to the hilt, but, after all, real rights don't extend to ANYONE wanting to acquire an icky old gun.