What the Media Don't Know About the AR 15
It appears the political establishment, the media and their “puppet” hosts and pundits, and a large percentage of the public, especially those who are anti-gun rights advocates know very little if anything about the functional differences between an AR-15 and an “assault rifle”. This conclusion is based on their discussions and commentary where they erroneously allege that “assault rifles” are generally available for purchase by the public.
What is an AR-15?
Politicians, the media and antigun rights advocates erroneously characterize to an uninformed public that an AR-15 is an “assault rifle”. The AR-15 is NOT a fully automatic weapon. A fully automatic weapon shoots multiple bullets with one pull of the trigger.The AR-15 fires only one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. The letters AR stand for “Armalite Rifle,” based on the company that created the weapon. The term AR is akin to a brand designation and not an abbreviation for a descriptive or functional purpose. The number 15 is the model number. The letters “AR” do not mean “Assault Rifle” as erroneously alleged.
AR-15 rifles are legal in all 50 states, and may be purchased provided the purchaser passes a mandatory FBI background check required for all retail and gun show gun purchases by licensed dealers and in compliance with Federal and State Law. An AR-15 is not a military assault rifle because it does not meet the rapid fire standard, nor does it have other functional capabilities that are build into a military style rifle such as the M-16.The uninformed non-gun advocate may confuse an AR 15 with a military style M-16 because of non-functional similarities in design and appearance.
A military style assault rifle (M-16) is fully automatic. It functions similar to a machine gun which is banned by federal law for civilian purposes. The use of the terms “assault weapon” or “assault rifle” when referring to an AR-15 is an intentionally erroneous and misleading designation. These terms are used solely for political reasons and for the sole purpose to mislead an uninformed and gullible public. By conflating two separate and distinct types of firearms with distinctly different features and applications the anti-gun rights advocates are able to engage an “assault” to progressively erode the Right to Bear Arms set forth in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
There is confusion as to the difference between military rifles and those designed for civilian ownership because of the use of words and language that misrepresents and often used to mis-describe the AR-15. The use of words such as assault rifle, automatic rifle or military-style rifle to describe the lawful AR-15 are used for one purpose only.These words are used to mislead the public and intentionally “demonize” the AR-15 and similar fire arms and their owners.
What Constitutes an ‘Assault’ Rifle?
The United States Department of Defense, in its book Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide, states “assault rifles” are “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges. In other words, assault rifles are battlefield rifles which can fire automatically.
Weapons capable of fully automatic fire, including assault rifles as defined by the Department of Defense and not the media, have been regulated heavily in the United States since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Taking possession of a fully automatic weapon requires paying a $200 federal transfer tax and submitting to an FBI background check, including ten-print fingerprints.
What Constitutes a Semi-Automatic Rifle?
A semi-automatic rifle uses gas, blow-forward, blow-back, or recoil energy to eject the spent cartridge after the round has traveled down the barrel, chambers a new cartridge from its magazine, and resets the action; enabling another round to be fired once the trigger is depressed again. Semi-automatic pertains to the method of loading and expelling a spent cartridge and not how many cartridges may be expelled with a single pull of the trigger.
GUN SHOW DEBATE
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has estimated that 5,000 gun shows are held annually in the U.S. These shows attract tens of thousands of attendees and result in the transfer of thousands of firearms.
Between 1968 and 1986, gun dealers were prohibited from selling firearms at gun shows. The Gun Control Act of 1968 barred Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders from making gun show sales by ordering that all sales must take place at the dealer’s place of business. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 reversed that portion of the Gun Control Act. The BATFE now estimates that as many as 75% of weapons sold at gun shows are sold by licensed dealers.
THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE ISSUE
The “gun show loophole” refers to the fact that most states do not require background checks for firearms sold or traded at gun shows by private individuals.
Federal law requires background checks on guns sold by federally licensed (FFL) dealers only.
The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 had defined “private sellers” as anyone who sold fewer than four firearms during any 12-month period. However, the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act deleted that restriction and loosely defined private sellers as individuals who do not rely on gun sales as the principal way of obtaining their livelihood.
Proponents of unregulated gun show sales say that there is no gun show loophole — gun owners are simply selling or trading guns at the shows as they would at their residences.
Federal legislation has attempted to put an end to the so-called loophole by requiring that all gun show transactions take place through FFL dealers. Most recently, a 2009 bill attracted several co-sponsors in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, but Congress ultimately failed to take up consideration of the legislation.
GUN SHOW LAWS BY STATE
As of November 2016, 19 states and the District of Columbia have their own gun show background check requirements. Nine states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington) require background checks at the point of sale for all transfers, including purchases from unlicensed sellers.
In Maryland and Pennsylvania, background checks are required for handguns only. Gun show gun buyers in Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are required to obtain a state issued permit. Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina require state-issued permits for handguns only. In 32 states, there are currently no laws — federal or state — regulating firearms sales between private individuals at gun shows.
However, even in states where background checks of private sales are not required by law, organizations hosting the gun show may require them as a matter of policy. In addition, private sellers are free to have a third-party federally-licensed gun dealer run background checks even though they may not be required by law.
ATTEMPTS TO CLOSE THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE
It is not like gun control advocates in Congress have not tried to close the gun show loophole. Federal “Gun show loophole” bills were introduced in seven consecutive Congresses from 2001 to 2013 — two in 2001, two in 2004, one in 2005, one in 2007, two in 2009, two in 2011, and one in 2013. None of them passed.
In March 2017, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2017 (H.R. 1612) requiring criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.
As of June 26, 2017, the bill had been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.