RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Bruce Smith could barely believe his eyes as he held the brand new semi-automatic rifle that he was expecting eight months ago. It's mainly because he reached out to 12 On Your Side.
"If it wasn't for Eric, this all wouldn't have been possible," Smith said.
Smith's ordeal began last July. That's when he placed a special order for the semi-automatic rifle from a company called Rev-Arms out of Danville. The Disputanta man paid $1,500, but the rifle was never delivered after several promises. Not only that, but the company stopped communicating with him altogether. That's when he called 12 On Your Side.
"Right now, I just want a refund," Smith said.
After we aired Smith's story, we heard from Evan Bruhn, the owner of EDC Tactical in Richmond. He offered to fill Smith's order.
"He was just super surprised when we contacted him the first time and said we were willing to help him out. He said, 'I already put the money down,' and we're like, 'We don't want to charge you for it. We want to do it for you,' " Bruhn said.
Bruhn says it meant taking on building a type of rifle his company had never built before.
"So we went ahead and went through the whole manufacturing process and produced a brand new product," Bruhn said.
The product was delivered last week to the eager family. Smith's son was with him. He didn't know the rifle was actually a college graduation gift for him until he saw his initials engraved on it.
"AWS, like me. AWS," Smith's son said. "Whoa! Oh my gosh, so this is the present. This is the present!"
"Nobody knew about it, not even my wife," Smith said.
But what about Rev-Arms, the company that was supposed to produce the rifle? We found a new number for one of the company's owners and tried calling again. We reached the company's voicemail and left a message, which has not been returned.
For the Smith family, it's a nightmare that ended well, and just in time for graduation.
"Week in advance so it couldn't have turned out better," Smith said. "If it wasn't for Eric I told him today that this would never have happened."
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