Assault rifle

type of selective fire rifle

An Assault rifle is an intermediate-range, magazine-fed rifle that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire, or a rifle that resembles an assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire.




  • The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining 'assault rifle' and 'semi-automatic rifles' is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could effectively implement these objectives.
    • William B. Ruger, American firearm designer and entrepreneur, in March 30, 1989 letter sent to every member of the United States Congress (William B. Ruger (1992). "An Open Letter". American Handgunner 1 2 (5).).


  • Yesterday Connecticut gunmaker Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced an “Inaugural Special“ for high-capacity ammunition magazines for its Mini-14 rifles, a weapon nicknamed the “poor man’s assault rifle.” According to Ruger:
    From November 4, 2008 to January 20, 2009, fans of the Ruger Mini-14 Target Rifles and Mini-14 Ranch Rifles, both chambered for .223 Remington, can purchase Ruger manufactured 20-round magazines (regularly priced at $39.95) for only $29.95. This special offer is only available through the Ruger On-line Store. Please note that these magazines are not available where state or local regulations limit magazine capacity to less than 20 rounds.


  • Over the past few years the gun industry has become increasingly dominated by manufacturers selling only AK-47 and AR-15 type assault rifles (newly christened “black rifles” by gunmakers to make them a little more cuddly and a little less killy), new high-powered handguns ranging from revolvers with the penetration power of rifles to AK-47 pistols, to anti-armor 50 caliber sniper rifles. Don’t believe me? Pick up a copy of Shotgun News and compare the number of gun ads for “traditional” hunting rifles (a handful) to those for assault rifles (all the rest). Military-style weapons are the guns that are flying off the shelves and into the homes of people frightened about the “change” that an Obama Administration represents.


  • The Bushmaster is a variant of a type of gun called the AR-15 ... which was designed and developed for military use roughly during the Vietnam War period. It is one of a variety of assault rifles that militaries of the world developed when they realized that most soldiers do not — when they're engaged in combat — do not take accurate aim, do not fire at long distances, but rather just spray bullets in the general direction of the enemy at short to medium range. When the military accepted this as a fact — that soldiers are not marksmen, and they tend to just fire in bursts at ambiguous targets, and in fact most battlefield injuries are the result of just being where the bullet is and not someone actually aiming at you — the militaries of the world said, 'OK, we need a type of gun to give our soldiers that will do just that.' ... This was the genesis of the assault rifle. The first one was developed by the Germans in 1944. It was called the StG-44. The Soviet army quickly ... made a design similar to it, which is called the AK-47, probably the most widely used rifle in the world.
  • What the gun industry has done is sort of appeal to the inner soldier, the insurrectionist feelings and high-tech desires to market these military-style guns. Now, they don't call them assault rifles. They have a couple of terms they use. They call them tactical rifles. They call them modern sporting rifles. I personally don't care what you call them; they are basically assault rifles, and their purpose is to kill people.


  • Those design features in a civilian market have horrific consequences. So you can call it whatever you want — tactical rifle, black rifle, assault rifle, modern sporting rifle. It has the capability that the military wanted for warfare...It's just a fact that hunting has been in serious decline, so those kinds of guns just don't sell as well. Well, you're in business, you got to sell something. These assault rifles — these military-style rifles — appeal to a broader range of people.




  • These results indicate that fatalities due to mass shootings were lower during both the federal and state assault weapons ban periods. Although some prior research has shown either that assault weapons bans did not reduce crime or that they actually increased gun-related murder rates, the present study’s focus on mass shootings shows the effectiveness of these gun control measures in reducing murders due to mass shootings. Regarding the injury regression, state-level assault weapons bans had no statistically-significant effects, but the federal ban had a significant and negative effect on mass shooting injuries....the present study’s focus on mass shootings shows the effectiveness of these gun control measures in reducing murders due to mass shootings...In 2012, for example, there were 72 fatalities due to mass public shootings. Of those 72, at least 30 were committed using a rifle. In the same year, there were 12,765 murders, of which only 322 were committed using a rifle. Rifles (assault weapons) are used much more frequently in mass shootings than they are in murders in general. Hence, any law that restricts access to rifles is likely to be much more effective in reducing mass shootings than it is in reducing murders in general.


  • What do James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and Omar Mateen have in common? Besides being the perpetrators of three of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, they all share a preference for the AR-15 assault rifle. The AR-15 assault rifle was used at the Aurora, Colo. shooting, the Newtown, Conn. shooting, and now the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. that killed 50 and is officially the deadliest such massacre in U.S. history...While Colt alone makes the official AR-15, variants and knock-offs are made by a huge number of gun manufactures, including Bushmaster, Les Baer, Remington, Smith & Wesson (swhc, +0.00%), and Sturm & Ruger (rgr, -2.04%), just to name a few. TacticalRetailer claims that from 2000 to 2015 the AR manufacturing sector expanded from 29 AR makers to about 500, “a stunning 1,700% increase.”
  • And maybe as a result we learned that “assault rifle” should refer to a fully automatic gun that sprays many rounds with one trigger squeeze, while the semiautomatic variations (like that Sig Sauer) discharge one shot per trigger pull; or that this distinction separates guns designed for military use from those typically available to civilians; or that a term such as “AR-15-style” often refers more to a gun’s appearance than any precisely agreed-upon set of specific technical features.


  • For full disclosure, I own 12 guns and have always been an avid wapiti hunter. But I have also experienced the Columbine School and Aurora Theater shootings and I do not own an AR-15.

    An astounding fact is that gun homicide rates in the United States are 25 times higher than any other high-income country in the world. The objective of this Committee on Trauma survey was to identify areas of consensus to develop action plans.

    Although laudable, this process carries a risk of merely supporting the bandwagons already in motion. In that light, I would like to focus on the conspicuous area of disagreement, specifically, civilian access to assault rifles. These weapons are designed to permit the shooter to deliver sequentially, as fast as the trigger can be pulled, life-threatening moderate energy missiles, resulting in multiple deaths at short distance over a short time period.

    The debate is not about ammunition. These same bullets are used for small game hunting, but at a longer distance. The fundamental issue is the magazine capacity of rifles, housing 30 or more bullets, enabling rapid shooting. Mass shootings, defined as greater than or equal to five victims, are currently an epidemic in our country, reported as literally occurring every week. The volatile issue in controlling gun violence is eliminating assault rifles to reduce mass shootings and fundamentally distills into the interpretation of the Second Amendment "to keep and bear Arms." I do not believe a randomized, prospective trial is necessary to establish the fact that mass shootings are only feasible because irresponsible individuals have access to these weapons, designed by the military to accomplish this mission.

  • It’s important to understand how we got where we are today. In 1966, the unthinkable happened: a madman climbed the University of Texas clock tower and opened fire, killing more than a dozen people. It was the first mass shooting in the age of television, and it left a real impression on the country. It was the kind of terror we didn’t expect to ever see again. But around 30 years ago, we started to see an uptick in these types of shootings, and over the last decade they’ve become the new norm.
    In July 2012, a gunman walked into a darkened theater in Aurora and shot 12 people to death, injuring 70 more. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. The sudden and utterly random violence was a terrifying sign of what was to come.
    In December 2012, a young man entered an elementary school in Newtown and murdered six educators and 20 young children. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. Watching the aftermath of these young babies being gunned down was heartrending.
    In June 2016, a gunman entered a nightclub in Orlando and sprayed revelers with gunfire. The shooter fired hundreds of rounds, many in close proximity, and killed 49. Many of the victims were shot in the head at close range. One of his weapons was an assault rifle.
    Last month, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, turning an evening of music into a killing field. All told, the shooter used multiple assault rifles fitted with bump-fire stocks to kill 58 people. The concert venue looked like a warzone.
    Over the weekend in Sutherland Springs, 26 were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle. The dead ranged from 17 months old to 77 years. No one is spared with these weapons of war. When so many rounds are fired so quickly, no one is spared. Another community devastated and dozens of families left to pick up the pieces.
    These are just a few of the many communities we talk about in hushed tones—San Bernardino, Littleton, Aurora, towns and cities across the country that have been permanently scarred.


  • This country has no monopoly on troubled young men. We have no monopoly on hate groups. We aren’t the only place where people miss signs of danger in troubled young men. What distinguishes the United States from the developed world is our open market in the weaponry of war — in weapons whose chief purpose and selling point is their obscene ability to kill as many people as possible in the shortest burst of time.
    Is it any surprise that the weapon used in this week’s carnage was the same style of semiautomatic assault rifle that was used with deadly efficiency at a concert in Las Vegas, a Texas church, an Orlando nightclub, a Connecticut elementary school? These weapons designed for combat, accompanied by multiple ammunition magazines, have become the weapons of choice for mass shooters. It is time for a national ban on their sale and possession. Now, before the next set of parents face the unimaginable agony of the phone call that never gets answered.
  • The AR-15, the civilian version of the military assault rifle (M16 or M4), has become the most commonly used rifle in US mass shootings; the recent shootings in Parkland and Las Vegas, for instance, testify to the effectiveness of this weapon’s design. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order; in the hands of civilians, it not only clearly serves the same purpose for some individuals, but it’s unclear what other purpose it could serve, given how and why it was made.
  • Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.
  • The distinctive “look” of assault weapons is not cosmetic. It is the visual result of specific functional design decisions. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose — laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as “hosing down” an area. The most significant assault weapon functional design features are:
    (1) ability to accept a high-capacity ammunition magazine,
    (2) a rear pistol or thumb-hole grip, and,
    (3) a forward grip or barrel shroud.
    Taken together, these are the design features that make possible the deadly and indiscriminate “spray-firing” for which assault weapons are designed. None of them are features of true hunting or sporting guns. Civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly. They are arguably more deadly than military versions, because most experts agree that semiautomatic fire is more accurate than automatic fire. Although the gun lobby today argues that there is no such thing as civilian assault weapons, the industry, the National Rifle Association, and gun magazines enthusiastically described these civilian versions as “assault rifles,” “assault pistols,” and “military assault” weapons to boost civilian sales throughout the 1980s. The industry and its allies only began to use the semantic argument that a “true” assault weapon is a machine gun after civilian assault weapons turned up in large numbers in the hands of drug traffickers, criminal gangs, mass murderers, and other dangerous criminals.
  • Results suggest assault weapons (primarily assault-type rifles) account for 2–12% of guns used in crime in general (most estimates suggest less than 7%) and 13–16% of guns used in murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics together generally account for 22 to 36% of crime guns, with some estimates upwards of 40% for cases involving serious violence including murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics appear to be used in a higher share of firearm mass murders (up to 57% in total), though data on this issue are very limited. Trend analyses also indicate that high-capacity semiautomatics have grown from 33 to 112% as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban—a trend that has coincided with recent growth in shootings nationwide....
    AW [assault weapon] laws also commonly include restrictions on large-capacity magazines (LCMs), which are typically defined as ammunition feeding devices holding more than ten rounds of ammunition (some laws have higher limits). LCM restrictions are arguably the most important components of AW laws in that they also apply to the larger class of high-capacity semiautomatic firearms without military-style features. In the broadest sense, AW-LCM laws are thus intended tor educe gunshot victimizations by limiting the stock of semiautomatic firearms with large ammunition capacities and other features conducive to criminal use....
    Importantly, trend analyses suggest that LCM firearms have grown substantially as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban on AWs and LCMs.
  • What was the gunman armed with? Bowers was armed with a Colt AR-15 SP1 assault rifle and three Glock .357 SIG-caliber semi-automatic handguns, authorities said at a press conference Sunday. Authorities said all four weapons were fired during the shooting. He was injured in confrontation with officers and transported to a local hospital, where an official at the press conference said he was in fair condition.
  • The man accused of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, legally purchased the guns he used to kill 11 people in what is believed to be the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States, according to the federal authorities.
    Officials have said Mr. Bowers used four guns — an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns — in his shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
    An investigation has concluded that the guns were “acquired and possessed legally by Bowers,” the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Tuesday.
    Mr. Bowers did not fall into any category barred from gun ownership under federal law, including felons, convicted domestic abusers, dishonorably discharged veterans, or people adjudicated to be mentally ill or subject to certain restraining orders.


  • Mass-shooting related homicides in the United States were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004....
    Recently, 75% of members of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma endorsed restrictions to “civilian access to assault rifles (magazine fed, semiautomatic, i.e., AR-15),” and 76% of the Board of Governors were in favor of a limit to “… civilian access to ammunition designed for military or law enforcement use (that is, armor piercing, large magazine capacity).” In 2015, the American College of Surgeons joined seven of the largest most prestigious professional health organizations in the United States and the American Bar Association to call for “restricting the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use.” This analysis adds evidence to support these recommendations....
    Our results add to the documentation that mass shooting–related homicides are indeed increasing, most rapidly in the postban period, and that these incidents are frequently associated with weapons characterized as assault rifles by the language of the 1994 AWB.
    ...taken in the context of the increase in mass shootings in the United States, these results support the conclusion that the federal AWB of 1994 to 2004 was effective in reducing mass shooting–related homicides in the United States, and we believe our results support a re-institution of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban as a way to prevent and control mass shooting fatalities in the United States.
  • The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday passed gun-control legislation that bans some assault-style firearms and ammunition five months after a gunman opened fire inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue killing 11 people.
    The council voted 6-3 to pass the legislation, which makes it illegal to load, brandish, display, discharge, point or use an assault weapon within city limits.
    "We're pretty happy we've gone through the process, we've made changes listening to a number of people," councilman Corey O'Connor said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think the colleagues who stuck with us were very brave in doing so, and even the colleagues who voted against wanted to a gun conversation."
    The legislation also allows courts to temporarily remove weapons from people who appear to pose an "extreme risk" to others or themselves. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who helped author the bill, is expected to sign it.
    Authorities described one of the guns used in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 -- a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle -- as an assault rifle. The shooter also used three Clock .357 SIG semi-automatic pistols in the shooting that left 11 dead and six victims injured.

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