Shooting Puts Spotlight on AR-15

Law Enforcement Debates Need for 'Military-Style Weapons'

AP Photo


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Florida shooter carried out his attack with an AR-15, the same type of weapon used in other mass shootings, including Aurora, San Bernardino, and Las Vegas.

In this case, the weapon appears to have been legally obtained.

Former special agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI Office Peter Ahearn told WBEN that style rifle is extremely popular, though he can't put his finger on why.

"They're military style weapons," Ahearn said. "They're not necessarily used by hunters. The weapon... is something gun owners seem to be attracted to, want to buy, and want to have. Whether it's something akin to a military assault type of weapon and having (something like that) I don't know. It's not something I can really say what the use is for that particular weapon, but they're pretty much in every gun store you can go to."

Crime and Terrorism Analyst Brad Garrett told WBEN that restricting who is able to purchase that type of weapon may not be as controversial a topic as you think.

"I think if you lined up all the Police Chiefs in cities of any size, they're going to tell you that there needs to be more control over who owns those firearms," Garrett said. "I think many of them would tell you that there's no reason for anyone to have an assault rifle unless you're in law enforcement or the military."

Hear more from both Ahearn and Garrett below:

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