“The American people want to do something,” said Kellgren, a former U.S. Navy pilot. “We enjoy our freedoms, we cherish those things. And when we see a group of people out there getting hammered like this, it’s heartbreaking.”

Adrian Kellgren’s family-owned gun company in Florida was left holding a $200,000 shipment of semi-automatic rifles after a longtime customer in Ukraine suddenly went silent during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country, AP’s Josh Goodman reports.

Fearing the worst, Kellgren and his company KelTec decided to put those stranded 400 guns to use, sending them to Ukraine’s nascent resistance movement to help civilians fight back against a Russian military that has been repeatedly shelling their apartment buildings, schools, hospitals and hiding places.

“The American people want to do something,” said Kellgren, a former U.S. Navy pilot. “We enjoy our freedoms, we cherish those things. And when we see a group of people out there getting hammered like this, it’s heartbreaking.”

Cocoa-based KelTec’s donation is a high-profile example of Americans collecting guns, ammunition, body armor, helmets and other tactical gear in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s promise to arm his citizens. But many similar grassroots efforts have been snarled by inexperience with the complex web of regulations governing the international shipment of such equipment.

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