Smith & Wesson M&P15


The Smith & Wesson M&P15 is an AR-15 style rifle by gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson.

A Smith & Wesson M&P15

Quotes edit

2012 edit

  • James Holmes purchased a Smith and Wesson .223 semi-automatic rifle at Gander Mountain gun store in Thornton, Colo., according to the law enforcement source. He also bought a .40 caliber Glock pistol at Gander Mountain gun store in Aurora, Colo. Another .40 caliber Glock handgun and a Remington 870 shotgun were purchased at Bass Pro Shops in Denver, Colo.
  • The four weapons that authorities say were used in the massacre at a Colorado theater showing of the latest Batman movie included a popular semiautomatic rifle, a .223-caliber assault-style rifle with a 100-round drum magazine. The suspect also had two .40-caliber Glock handguns and a 12-gauge Remington Model 870 pump shotgun. In the past 60 days, police said, Holmes bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition, at gun shops and over the Internet, including:
    * 3,000 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition for the rifle. It was described as an AR-15-type weapon built by Smith and Wesson.
    * 3,000 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition for the Glock handguns.
    * 300 rounds for the shotgun....
    Officials told NBC News that all four were purchased legally, beginning in May, from two national chain stores: Gander Mountain Guns and Bass Pro Shops.
  • The three types of weapons used by the man accused of killing 12 people in a Colorado movie theater — a semiautomatic variation of the military’s M-16 rifle, a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun and at least one .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol — are among the most popular guns available in the multibillion-dollar American firearms market...It appears, the police say, that James E. Holmes, the man accused in the Aurora shootings, used all three types of weapons inside the theater as well, first firing the shotgun, then using the semiautomatic rifle until its 100-round barrel magazine jammed, and finishing off with a pistol.
    ...much of the public and political attention has been focused on the potential deadliness of the semiautomatic rifle, which law enforcement officials identified as a Smith & Wesson M&P15. The rifle belongs to a class of weapons broadly known as AR-15s, after the original civilian version of the rifle....
    The M&P15 also comes in a variety of models that fire different sizes of ammunition, from .22-caliber to .30-caliber rounds. The rifle used in Aurora fired .223-caliber ammunition, law enforcement officials said.
    Those rounds — similar to the ammunition used in American M-16 and M-4 rifles — are smaller than the rounds fired by Afghan insurgents wielding Kalashnikov rifles, but pack far more power than .22-caliber rounds, even though they are only a hair’s-width larger in circumference.
  • Police said the alleged gunman had three weapons: a Remington shotgun, a Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifle and a Glock .40-caliber handgun. The assault rifle, which is akin to an AR-15 and is a civilian version of the military’s M-16, could fire 50 to 60 rounds per minute and is designed to hold large ammunition magazines. The source said that Holmes allegedly had obtained a 100-round drum magazine that attached to the weapon but that such large magazines are notorious for jamming. The law enforcement official said authorities think the gunman first used the shotgun — some victims have buckshot wounds — and then began using the assault rifle, which jammed. Then he resorted to the handgun.
  • Holmes and his motives remained largely a mystery, with past associates saying he displayed no hints of a mental illness or violent tendencies.
    He was armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 semi-automatic rifle, similar to an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber handgun. Police found an additional Glock .40-caliber handgun in his car. All the weapons had been bought legally.
  • Holmes’s use of Smith & Wesson’s M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.
    In early 2006, Smith & Wesson announced that it had begun shipping the first of its M&P15 rifles. The M&P (Military & Police) “tactical rifle” was the first long gun produced by a company that had been long known as a handgun manufacturer. According to Shooting Industry, the new rifle was “specifically engineered to meet the needs of global military and police personnel, as well as sporting shooters.”
    The handgun company’s turn to assault rifles was a stark example of the gun industry’s relentless militarization of the civilian market. By 2006, military-style semiautomatic assault rifles had become one of the mainstays of the civilian gun market. Smith & Wesson did not make rifles. But it had successfully marketed a line of M&P semiautomatic handguns to military, police, and civilian customers. Its executives decided to introduce their own line of Military & Police assault rifles. Based on the AR-15/M-16 design, these “tactical rifles” would be heavily pitched to civilians.
  • The money continued to roll in. On July 20, 2009, exactly three years to the day before the Aurora mass murder, Golden stated in an interview that a “category that has been extremely hot is tactical rifles, AR style tactical rifles.” On a June 2009 investors conference call, Golden enthused that “tactical rifles were up almost 200% versus the same period the year before. We have increased our capacity on that rifle.” The company was doing so well with its assault rifles that it decided to introduce a new variant in 22 caliber because the ammunition is much cheaper than the military-style ammunition used in the M&P15.
  • Millions of theater goers packed movie houses all over the country on July 20 for the opening night screenings of The Dark Knight Rises. But in Aurora, Col., before the opening credits even rolled, deadly and uncinematic terror was visited on the audience when James Eagan Holmes, a 24-year-old University of Colorado dropout, allegedly walked into the Century 16 multiplex from an emergency exit. He reportedly threw a noxious gas bomb into the auditorium, then brandishing a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle, a Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun and two Glock 22 handguns, opened fire, killed 12 people and wounded 58.

2013 edit

  • There were five gunshot victims. Two of the wounded were T.S.A. agents, and two others were hurt while trying to escape.
    Prosecutors said Mr. Ciancia shot Mr. Hernandez several times at point-blank range, went up an escalator, and then, seeing the wounded officer move, returned to fire again. He shot at least two other uniformed T.S.A. employees and one passenger, the documents said. The gun was described as a Smith & Wesson 223 M & P15 rifle.
    Mr. Ciancia had assembled a small arsenal. Law enforcement officials said two legal guns registered to him were purchased early this year at The Target Range in Van Nuys, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. The rifle recovered at the airport was also purchased by Mr. Ciancia in the Los Angeles area, according to a senior federal official.
  • CIANCIA pulled a Smith & Wesson .223 caliber M&P-15 assault rifle out of his bag and fired multiple rounds at point-blank range at a TSA officer who was then on duty and in uniform, wounding the officer. CIANCIA began to walk up an escalator, looked back at the wounded officer, who in video appeared to move, and returned to shoot the wounded officer again.
  • Police officials missed checking in on Paul Anthony Ciancia "by a matter of minutes" before a deadly shooting rampage occurred at Los Angeles International Airport, the chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday.
    Ciancia, who police say shot and killed a Transportation Security Administration screener at LAX, was dropped off at the airport by one of his roommates about 9 a.m. Friday, shortly before the deadly shooting rampage occurred, according to authorities.
    Around the same time, Los Angeles police officers paid a visit to his apartment in Sun Valley in response to concerns from his family after they received text messages indicating that he wanted to harm himself....
    When he entered LAX, Ciancia was wearing dark clothes and a bulletproof vest and had not purchased a ticket. He carried a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber M&P-15 assault rifle, five loaded magazines and a trove of ammunition, Bowdich said.
  • A Transportation Security Administration worker injured in the deadly shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport spoke to reporters for the first time Monday, saying his first thought was to help the passengers around him.
    Tony Grigsby, 36, limped from the front door of his South L.A. home to a microphone stand, a brace on his right foot and cane in his right hand....
    "All I could think about was helping them," he said. "I may be injured right now, but the concern really is to take care of you."
    Grigsby was one of three TSA agents struck when a gunman carrying a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber M&P-15 assault rifle opened fire Friday morning at the nation's third-busiest airport.
  • The semiautomatic rifle used in the shooting was purchased at a Van Nuys gun store and could fit into the bag the gunman brought to the airport, a federal law enforcement source told The Times.
    The source said the weapon was a Smith and Wesson M&P 15, caliber .556, which was purchased at the Target Range Gun Store, 16140 Cohasset St., Van Nuys.
    The source said the weapon is “collapsible” to be assembled later. But it could “easily fit ready to fire” into the luggage bag the alleged shooter brought into the airport, added the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
  • The gun used by the government-hater to kill a checkpoint screener and wound three others? It was the type of firearm that would have been banned from the California market under legislation vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
    Not that it would have mattered for Gerardo Hernandez, 39, the TSA agent who was murdered. The bill would not have taken effect until Jan. 1. And Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, the disgruntled, alleged assassin, could have kept his semiautomatic rifle by registering it.
    And, yes, he also could have armed himself with a handgun and probably inflicted the same damage.
    But presumably he chose the Smith & Wesson M&P 15, .223-caliber semiautomatic — hauling with him five loaded detachable magazines and a trove of ammunition — because he had in mind creating even more mayhem.
    Such military-style assault rifles, after all, are the weapons of choice for mass killers. Ciancia was stopped only when critically wounded by LAX police.
    SB 374, by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would have banned the sale of most semiautomatic rifles capable of accepting detachable magazines. The aim was to close a loophole used by gun manufacturers to circumvent California's ban on assault weapons.
    Because of Brown's veto, these especially lethal firearms are still available for purchase in California. And they'll continue to be used by wackos in horrific shootings.
  • The semiautomatic rifle used in the LAX shooting rampage Friday was purchased at a Van Nuys gun store and could fit into the bag the alleged gunman brought to the airport, a federal law enforcement source told The Times.
    The source said the weapon was a Smith and Wesson M&P 15, 5.56-millimeter and .223-caliber, which was purchased at the Target Range Gun Store, 16140 Cohasset St., Van Nuys.
  • A Transportation Security Administration officer killed at Los Angeles International Airport during a rampage three weeks ago was shot 12 times, with bullets piercing organs, grazing his heart and severing a major artery, according to a final autopsy report released Friday.
    Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, died within two to five minutes of the Nov. 1 attack inside Terminal 3. The gunman, identified by authorities as Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, targeted TSA agents during the shooting, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said earlier this week.
    Hernandez, a married father of two from Porter Ranch, was shot through his right arm, torso, waist, hip, back, buttock and groin by the gunman's semiautomatic rifle, according to the 22-page autopsy report. Many of the shots were fired into the back of the unarmed agent, who became the nation's first TSA officer to be killed in the line of duty.
    Authorities say Ciancia entered the terminal about 9:30 a.m., pulled his rifle out of a bag and fired at Hernandez. The gunman walked up an escalator, then returned to shoot Hernandez again, U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte has said.
    The coroner's report described extensive injuries to many of Hernandez's vital internal organs. The autopsy noted Hernandez suffered "a complete transection of the abdominal aorta distal to superior mesenteric artery" and extensive damage to his spinal cord.
    Hernandez suffered 16 wounds to his gastrointestinal tract. Many of the rounds lodged in his body, the report noted. Medical examiners recovered 40 bullet fragments, which were given to the FBI as evidence, according to the report.
    Two other TSA officers and a schoolteacher were wounded before Ciancia was shot and critically wounded by two airport police officers.
    In Ciancia's possessions, FBI agents recovered a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber rifle as well as notes expressing his hatred for the TSA and the government in general.
  • The man accused in the fatal shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on 11 felony counts, including murder and attempted murder, prosecutors announced....
    The final three counts are related to allegations that Ciancia used the Smith & Wesson M&P-15 to commit acts of violence at an international airport.
  • The alleged gunman behind the fatal shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport could face the death penalty.
    Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on 11 felony counts, including murder and attempted murder, prosecutors announced....
    The final three counts are related to allegations that Ciancia used the Smith & Wesson M&P-15 to commit acts of violence at an international airport.

2014 edit

  • Hand over your email address to a political campaign, and typically all you can expect in return is an endless stream of solicitations for money.
    But one supporter of Greg Brophy, a state senator who ran for governor in Colorado, got something else: a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle.
    It was the top prize in “Greg Brophy’s Gun Club Giveaway,” an online contest last month in which people handed over personal information that is the currency of modern political campaigns — first and last names, email addresses and phone numbers — and in exchange, one lucky winner would get the gun....
    Online gun sweepstakes have become one of the most useful tools for campaign outreach in the 2014 Republican primaries.
  • In May 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22, then bought the shotgun days later. After failing his oral exam, he bought a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic rifle and a second Glock in July. He also purchased 3,000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3,000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet, police have said.

2015 edit

  • Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man charged in the deadly 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, according to court documents filed Friday....
    "Defendant Paul Anthony Ciancia acted with the intent that his crimes would strike fear in the hearts of Transportation Security Administration employees," prosecutors wrote. "By committing his crimes on a weekday morning in a crowded terminal at one of the busiest airports in the world … Ciancia terrorized numerous airline passengers and airport employees."...
    Authorities allege Ciancia was dropped off outside the airport, carrying a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber M&P-15 assault rifle, five loaded magazines and a trove of ammunition.
  • For 25 minutes Thursday morning during the murder trial of James Holmes in Centennial, Colorado, jurors passed the mountain of evidence gathered from the theater from person to person. Among the items they handled were two Glock handguns, a Smith and Wesson M&P15 rifle, magazines and ammunition, tactical body armor, two knives, a trio of gas masks, a Taser, and even the pink flip flops of one of the victims.
  • The suspects arrived at the Inland Regional Center at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, armed with the four guns and wearing masks. Chief Burguan said the suspects were wearing “tactical vests,” with pockets for spare magazines and other equipment.
    The two handguns that were recovered were bought by Mr. Farook, and all four weapons were bought legally, Chief Burguan said. A senior federal law enforcement official said the assault rifles were bought by a third person who is not considered a suspect.
    Officials said the two assault rifles were variants of the AR-15, the semiautomatic version of the military M-16 rifle; one was made by DPMS Panther Arms, and the other was a Smith & Wesson M&P model, a designation meaning military and police. The senior law enforcement official said one handgun was made by Llama, and the other by Smith & Wesson.
  • Law enforcement specialists who briefed congressional officials on Thursday said that Mr. Farook bought two pistols legally and that another person bought the two .223-caliber rifles — a DPMS A-15 and Smith & Wesson M&P15 — legally.
  • The suspects in the San Bernardino holiday party shooting were armed with four guns, an explosive device and several magazines of ammunition in a “well-planned” attack, police and federal officials said.
    Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a U.S.-born health inspector for San Bernardino County, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, were carrying two .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns...
    San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the two .223-caliber assault rifles were a DPMS model and a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 model, while the two semi-automatic hand guns were manufactured by Llama and Smith & Wesson.
  • The husband and wife responsible for killing 14 people in a shooting in San Bernardino this week tried to illegally modify a semi-automatic rifle to turn it into a machine gun, federal authorities said Friday.
    A Smith & Wesson M&P15 found with the couple after a gun battle with police Wednesday was altered in an attempt to enable the weapon to be fired automatically, said Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    The modification is illegal under federal law, she said. Initial tests, she said, show that the modification did not work and the gun could not be fired automatically, Davis said. She said more tests were yet to be done.
    A DPMS Model A-15 rifle also found with the couple after the shootout had been altered to accept a high-capacity magazine that is illegal under California law, she said.
  • Police said the two attackers were armed with two semiautomatic rifles and two semiautomatic handguns. The handguns were legally purchased by Farook, a federal law enforcement official said, and purchased at Annie's Get Your Gun in Corona. The two rifles were purchased by someone other than the shooters, said Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. She declined to identify the person and said federal agents have located the person and plan to conduct an interview.
    At the pair's townhouse in Redlands, investigators recovered a fifth firearm, a .22-caliber rifle, Davis said.
    The semiautomatic rifles were a .223-caliber DPMS Model A-15 and a Smith & Wesson M&P15. One of the 9 mm handguns was manufactured by Llama and the other was by Springfield Armory.
    The DPMS Model A-15 found with the couple after the shootout had been altered to accept a high-capacity magazine illegal under California law, Davis said.
    The Smith & Wesson M&P15 also found with the couple was altered in an attempt to enable the weapon to be fired automatically, Davis said, like a machine gun. The modification is illegal under federal law, she said, adding that initial tests show that the modification did not work and the rifle could not be fired automatically. More tests are yet to be done, she said.
  • Their weapons: The suspects had two .223 rifles and two 9 mm pistols. The two handguns were purchased by the man, while the two rifles were not. All four guns were legally purchased, according to officials.
    The rifles were a .223-caliber DPMS Model A15 and a Smith & Wesson M&P15. One of the semiautomatic handguns was manufactured by Llama, and the other by Smith & Wesson.
  • Acquaintance Enrique Marquez had given the couple the semiautomatic Smith & Wesson M&P15 and .223-caliber DPMS A-15 rifles, authorities said.
    Until a few months ago, Farook and Malik lived in Riverside, next door to Marquez. Farook, observed as quiet and withdrawn, struck up a friendship with Marquez, who shared a similar interest in tinkering with cars, a neighbor recalled.
    Federal authorities interviewed Marquez over the weekend, and a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the weapons he gave to Farook were legally purchased in 2011 and 2012. There is no paperwork of them being transferred to Farook, he said.
  • In May 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22, then bought the shotgun days later. After failing his oral exam, he bought a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic rifle and a second Glock in July. He also purchased 3,000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3,000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet, police have said.

2016 edit

  • On July 20, 2012, a mass murderer killed 12 and wounded 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., using a Smith & Wesson M&P15. On Dec. 12, 2012, another mass murderer killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., using his mother's Bushmaster XM15-E2S. The letter and number suffixes belie a simple truth -- the guts of both guns look just like an M-16 or, as it is known for civilian use, an AR-15. OK, the M-16 can fire in fully automatic mode but otherwise, the same.
    In Orlando just this month, it was a similar type of semiautomatic assault weapon, a Sig Sauer MCX, that helped claim 49 lives.
    • Kingsbury, Alex (June 16 2016). "Meet the must-have Bling for Your Gun". Boston Globe. 
  • A bullet leaves the barrel of a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 traveling at 3,000 feet per second, covering the space of a large room seven times faster than a human can react.
    Five spiraling grooves inside the rifle’s barrel spin the bullet clockwise to improve accuracy. And, when the bullet strikes a person, it causes what Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Dale Higashi on Wednesday called a “snowstorm effect,” breaking into hundreds of little flakes.
    “The damage it causes to the target, the damage it causes to the bullet itself, is dramatic,” Higashi said.
    On Tuesday and Wednesday, testimony in Arapahoe County District Court told the microscopic story of the Aurora movie theater shooting.
    Three evidence analysts described in tedious detail their scientific analysis of bullet fragments, pieces of metal and gunshot-residue swabs. On Wednesday, Higashi testified that, out of the 150 bullets, shell casings and fragments he looked at, all of the items he could trace linked back to one of three guns — including the Smith & Wesson rifle — investigators say James Holmes used inside the theater in July 2012.
  • Paul Ciancia, the gunman whose 2013 rampage at Los Angeles International Airport left a Transportation Security Administration officer dead and three others injured, has agreed to plead guilty to all pending federal charges, according to court papers filed Thursday....
    Ciancia, who had been living in Los Angeles for about 18 months before the shooting rampage, had purchased the Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle nearly seven months before he stormed into the terminal....
    "I'm so sorry that I have to leave you pre-maturely, but it is for the greater good of humanity. This was the purpose I was brought here," he told his brother.
    To his sister, Ciancia wrote that he had to "stand up to these tyrants." He asked his sister not to let the media distort his actions.
    "There wasn't a terrorist attack on Nov 1. There was a pissed off patriot trying to water the tree of liberty," he wrote.
  • An unemployed motorcycle mechanic who gunned down airport screening officers at Los Angeles International Airport in a 2013 attack that sent passengers running for their lives pleaded guilty Tuesday to murder and 10 other charges....
    He was armed with a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle he had purchased seven months earlier.
    Officers found a handwritten note and ammunition in a duffel bag Ciancia had dropped.
    Ciancia, who was living in the Los Angeles area after growing up in Pennsville, N.J., said in the note that he wanted to kill at least one TSA officer but hoped to kill more.
    "If you want to play that game where you pretend that every American is a terrorist, you're going to learn what a self-fulfilling prophecy is," his note said, according to court documents.
    The note added, "I want to instill fear in your traitorous minds. I want it to always be in the back of your head just how easy it is to take a weapon to the beginning of your Nazi checkpoints."

2017 edit

  • AR-15 style rifles have been the weapon of choice in many recent mass shootings, including the Texas church shooting Sunday, the Las Vegas concert last month, the Orlando nightclub last year and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
    Here is a list of mass shootings in the U.S. that featured AR-15-style rifles during the last 35 years, courtesy of the Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries and USA TODAY research:
    Feb. 24, 1984: Tyrone Mitchell, 28, used an AR-15, a Stoeger 12-gauge shotgun and a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun to kill two and wound 12 at 49th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles before killing himself.
    Oct. 7, 2007: Tyler Peterson, 20, used an AR-15 to kill six and injure one at an apartment in Crandon, Wis., before killing himself.
    June 20, 2012: James Eagan Holmes, 24, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber Smith and Wesson rifle with a 100-round magazine, a 12-gauge Remington shotgun and two .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistols to kill 12 and injure 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
    Dec. 14, 2012: Adam Lanza, 20, used an AR-15-style rifle, a .223-caliber Bushmaster, to kill 27 people — his mother, 20 students and six teachers — in Newtown, Conn., before killing himself.
    June 7, 2013: John Zawahri, 23, used an AR-15-style .223-caliber rifle and a .44-caliber Remington revolver to kill five and injure three at a home in Santa Monica, Calif., before he was killed.
    March 19, 2015: Justin Fowler, 24, used an AR-15 to kill one and injure two on a street in Little Water, N.M., before he was killed.
    May 31, 2015: Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, used an AR-15 and .45-caliber handgun to kill two and injure two at a store in Conyers, Ga., before he was killed.
    Oct. 31, 2015: Noah Jacob Harpham, 33, used an AR-15, a .357-caliber revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill three on a street in Colorado Springs, Colo., before he was killed.
    Dec. 2, 2015: Syed Rizwyan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, 28 and 27, used two AR-15-style, .223-caliber Remington rifles and two 9 mm handguns to kill 14 and injure 21 at his workplace in San Bernardino, Calif., before they were killed.
    June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, 29, used an AR-15 style rifle (a Sig Sauer MCX), and a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol to kill 49 people and injure 50 at an Orlando nightclub before he was killed.
    Oct. 1, 2017: Stephen Paddock, 64, used a stockpile of guns including an AR-15 to kill 58 people and injure hundreds at a music festival in Las Vegas before he killed himself.
    Nov. 5, 2017: Devin Kelley, 26, used an AR-15 style Ruger rifle to kill 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before he was killed.
    Feb. 14, 2018: Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to kill at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

2018 edit

  • Six of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. over the past decade have used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. The latest instance was Wednesday’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 others injured.
    The gun used in the shooting was a Smith and Wesson M&P AR-15, federal law enforcement officials told the Associated Press. The same model weapon was used in previous mass shootings, including the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting that claimed 12 lives and the rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., that claimed 14.
    These rifles and other versions of the AR-15 are the civilian equivalent of fully-automatic M16 rifles used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. They are fancied by gun owners because they are typically easy to purchase — often for less than $1,000 — and can be customized with a number of accessories, such as bump stocks, which essentially convert the semi-automatic weapons into fully-automatics. A bump stock was deployed by the assailant in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
    Up until that point, the country’s deadliest mass shooting had occurred just a year prior at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where the perpetrator used an SIG MCX semi-automatic rifle — highly similar to AR-15s in aesthetic and purpose — to kill 49 people. Comparable weapons were also used at Sandy Hook Elementary School (27 dead) and a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church (25 dead).
    The high number of fatalities in these incidents highlight how AR-15-style guns, much like their M16 cousin, are capable of inflicting serious damage to a number of people at once.
    “For practical purposes, for the person that’s just tuning in, the non-gun owner, it’s a very similar type of firearm,” Rob Pincus, who has made a career out of training armed professionals, told TIME.
  • The suspect in a Florida school shooting bought the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack legally a year ago, authorities said Thursday. Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he had been expelled for fighting, according to authorities. Cruz lawfully bought the semiautomatic rifle last February, according to Peter Forcelli, special agent in charge of the Miami office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The gun, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 .223, was purchased at Sunrise Tactical Supply, according to the Associated Press. Federal law allows people 18 and older to legally purchase long guns, including this kind of assault weapon. With no criminal record, Cruz cleared an instant background check via the FBI criminal database.
  • Feb. 14, 2018 Seventeen people were killed when Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at his former high school in Parkland, Fla., with a Smith & Wesson M&P semiautomatic rifle....
    Dec. 2, 2015 Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, husband and wife, killed 14 people at a holiday office party in San Bernardino, Calif. Four guns were recovered: a Smith & Wesson M&P assault rifle, a DPMS Panther Arms assault rifle, a Smith & Wesson handgun and a Llama handgun....
    July 20, 2012 James E. Holmes, 24, killed 12 people and wounded 70 at a theater in Aurora, Colo., using a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle, a Remington shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
  • Stocks were up Thursday for American Outdoor Brands, the company that makes the AR-15 rifle used in the Florida school shooting that claimed 17 lives.
    The company’s shares closed up 1.49%, netting the company an additional $8.8 million on the day.
    The Associated Press reported that accused gunman Nikolas Cruz used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle – a variant of the AR-15 – during his allegedly shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.
    Smith & Wesson, which was founded in 1852, is a Springfield, Mass.-based holding of American Outdoor Brands....
    Shares of American Outdoor Brands closed 5.6% higher on Wednesday, the day of the shooting. It’s not uncommon for gun maker shares to rise following a mass shooting as people are likely to stock up fearing potential gun control measures.
    This is the third time an M&P15 has been used in a mass shooting in the United States.
    James E. Holmes, who was convicted of killing 12 and wounding 70 in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle. An illegally modified Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport rifle was recovered by law enforcement officials after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, where 14 people were killed.
  • In focusing their anger on the likes of Wayne LaPierre, the survivors are distracted from the likes of James Debney, whose company actually designed, produced and marketed the weapon that killed so many innocents at their school. Debney knew it was a weapon of war. He also knew, or at least should have known, that M&P15 fires bullets of such velocity that when it hits flesh the accompanying shock wave extends the damage considerably outside the path of the bullet, shredding tissue, destroying entire organs, disintegrating blood vessels. He also knew that the M&P15 is a virtual twin to the Bushmaster AR-15 used with horrific effect on little kids at Sandy Hook.
    And yet he had kept selling it.
    Debney earns more than $5 million a year in what the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High survivors would no doubt consider blood money.
  • Light, precise and with little recoil, the Colt Armalite Rifle-15 Sporter hit the market in the early 1960s as the first civilian version of the military’s M16 rifle. What set it apart was, much like its military counterpart, the inventor Eugene Stoner’s patented gas operating system, which allowed for rapid fire and reloading. The weapon could easily handle a 20-round magazine, was easy to disassemble and was marketed, in one of Colt’s early advertisements, to hunters, campers and collectors.
    Billed as “America’s rifle” by the National Rifle Association, the AR-15 is less a specific weapon than a family of them. When Mr. Stoner’s rights to the gas system expired in 1977, it opened the way for dozens of weapons manufacturers to produce their own models, using the same technology. The term AR-15 has become a catchall that includes a variety of weapons that look and operate similarly, including the Remington Bushmaster, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 and the Springfield Armory Saint.
    Over the ensuing decades, as the American military modified the M16’s exterior to allow for accessories such as sights, grips and flashlights, the civilian market followed. Today, gun enthusiasts consider the AR-15 the Erector Set of firearms.
  • It’s one of the city’s largest employers. Others saw Smith & Wesson’s presence as another detail central to Springfield’s identity, the place where basketball was invented, Dr. Seuss was born and guns are made.
    But this once-easy relationship between city and gunmaker has been rattled by the discovery that the firearm used to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., high school last month was made here. The gun was a Smith & Wesson M&P15, a version of the controversial AR-15 military-style rifle. And that weapon had been used in mass shootings before, including in Aurora, Colo., and San Bernardino, Calif.
    In the weeks since the Parkland shooting, as companies like Delta Air Lines severed promotional ties with the National Rifle Association and Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling AR-15s, Smith & Wesson has found itself increasingly drawn into the public debate over gun violence. Now, for perhaps the first time in its long history, the gunmaker is also being attacked at home. Last week, protesters gathered outside the factory gates. Local students launched a letter-writing campaign directed at the company. They also plan to target the gunmaker this weekend during the city’s “March for Our Lives” rally.

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