AR-15 Assault Rifle: The Weapon Used in the Orlando Nightclub Shootings

AR-15 Orlando

“Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state.”
Under Article 1, Section 6

While gun laws are a heated topic for many Americans, most can understand the intent and value behind this deep rooted American amendment. However, when multiple mass shootings continue to happen, it can bring up heated debates regarding gun laws. After the Orlando Nightclub’s shootings this past Sunday morning, the discussion has zeroed in on one gun in particular – the AR-15.

AR-15 semi-auto rifle

An AR-15 semi-auto rifle

AR-15 Assault-style Rifle: Weapon of Choice for Mass Shooters

As shown above, the AR-15 assault-style rifle is considered a semiautomatic gun that has seemed to be the choice gun for many mass shootings in America. The Boston Globe described it as a “mass shooters’ weapon of choice.” The AR-15 was used in the following tragedies:

  • Newtown, Connecticut – In 2012, 20 children and 6 adults were killed from a version of the AR-15
  • Aurora, Colorado Movie Theater Shooting – In 2012, 12 people were killed and 58 wounded
  • San Bernardino, California – In 2015, 14 were killed and 20 wounded
  • Orlando, Florida – 49 killed and 53 wounded

History of the AR-15 Assault Rifle

First of all, the AR-15 was created for military combat, but can be purchased by civilians. It was built in 1959 by ArmaLife as a small arms rifle for the United States Armed Forces. Due to financial struggles, ArmaLife sold the design to Colt.

The AR-15 is designed differently from a M16. The name “AR-15” was chosen by Colt to represent the civilian model after it was selling M16 riffles to the U.S. military. The M16 is the military version of the rifle and is more difficult for civilians to own. This gun can shoot up to three bullets in a single burst and the older versions were fully automatic. This means that the gun will keep firing as long as you hold the trigger down. This specific kind of gun is strictly regulated by the National Firearms Act, and the law was passed in 1934 that restricted the possession of machine guns.

Definition of the AR-15

In addition, the AR-15 is a semiautomatic which means that you need to pull the trigger for each bullet. Due to that nature, there are no restrictions regarding this assault riffle. While the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon can vary in different jurisdictions, the general idea is that the gun includes semiautomatic firearms with a detachable magazine and a number of other features to help conceal the weapon or to help control it during a rapid fire.

According to VOX, the AR-15 has been referred to as “modern sporting rifles” assuming that they are used for hunting. However, many hunters do not consider it their choice gun for hunting.

Moreover, one other important argument that has been raised is that as a country, we can place people on a no fly list due to being on a terror watch list, but we cannot ban them from buying a gun.

Current Michigan Gun Laws

According to Michigan Legislature, current Michigan gun laws included:

  • No permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun.
  • A permit is required to purchase a handgun.
  • Registration of firearms is not necessary for rifles and shotguns
  • Registration of firearms is required for handguns.
  • Licensing of owners is not required for rifles, shotguns, or handguns.
  • No permit required to carry a rifle or shotgun.
  • Permit is required to carry a shotgun.

Over to You

In conclusion, the gun laws in the United States and in Michigan can bring a lot of emotion and heated debate. What are your thoughts? Should the government do more to ban an assault weapon like an AR-15? Furthermore, how do you feel about Michigan’s current gun laws?