The only fact i know .......is that it kills a lot of people .......
What do you know about the AR-15 rifle? Here are five facts to understand the weapon
Photos circulating on social media show a bloody black rifle allegedly used in the mass shooting at an Allen outlet mall Saturday, but has not yet been confirmed by law enforcement.
This is the second mass shooting in Texas in the last 10 days.
But like many recent shootings in Texas and around the nation, curiosity and advocacy have intersected as many share their views on the AR-15-style weapon. Debates over the practicality of the weapon are a common presence on social media.
Texas is all too familiar with the weapon. Only earlier this month 39-year-old Francisco Oropeza walked into his neighbors’ house and killed five of them because they had earlier complained about him shooting his AR-15-style rifle in his front yard.
The 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde elementary school in May 2022 used two AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles. Salvador Ramos had posted photos of both guns on his Instagram account, one of which was a $1,870 Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 rifle purchased online. Ramos had sent messages, including a receipt screenshot, to someone he met online about the high-end gun manufactured in Georgia.
AR-15-style weapons have also infamously been used in the Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Orlando, San Bernardino and Sandy Hook mass shootings. Meanwhile, since the mid-2000s, the rifle has been among the most popular firearms being sold.
Here are five things you should know about AR-15 style weapons.
1. ArmaLite developed the weapon in the 1950s
The “AR” in AR-15 rifle stands for ArmaLite Rifle, after the company that developed it in 1957. The letters do not stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
In 1959, Colt purchased the design from ArmaLite. The U.S. army adopted the rifle in 1963 as the “M-16.” A semiautomatic version was marketed to the American public beginning in 1964.
2. AR-15 weapons fall under “black rifles” category
Black rifles including the AR-15 and its likes refer to light, durable black polymer gunstocks used after the 1960s instead of the traditional wood, per The Firearm Blog.
“Today the term simply means any modern military rifle, or any rifle patterned after a modern military rifle, the two most common of these by far being the AR-15 and AK types,” the website says.
3. AR-15 popularized when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, signed into law in 1994, restricted the features of AR-15 rifles bought by civilians. The ban expired a decade later in 2004, raising interest in the weapons and spiking purchases of the black rifles by the American public.
In the past decade, firearms manufacturers have made about $1 billion from the sale of AR-15 style weapons.
4. Millions of AR-15 style rifles in the U.S.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were 20 million AR-15 style weapons as of 2020.
From 1990 to 2020, the U.S. imported or manufactured over 24.4 million. In 2020 alone, the U.S. imported or manufactured 2.8 million of the rifles.
5. The AR-15 controversy continues
Gun control advocates say that, because AR-15 style rifles function like military weapons and quickly kill many people, civilians should not be allowed to own them. Gun owners say they should remain legal because they are used for many different types of hunting and they’re used for target shooting in national matches.
While the AR-15 is not fully automatic, having been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934 with the National Firearms Act, a bump stock can be added to make it so. Without it, the shooter must pull the trigger to fire each shot.
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