Online gun shop reports selling 30,000 AR-15s in week after Orlando shooting
BELLEVUE, Penn. - An online gun store reported selling more than 30,000 AR-15 rifles over a period of seven days.
Hunter’s Warehouse is based in Bellevue, Pennsylvania. They claim that since nearly 50 people were gunned down in an Orlando nightclub mass shooting, the AR-15 has only proved more popular with web-based shoppers.
A close relative of the M-16 assault rifle that has been on practically every American battlefield since Vietnam, the Armalite Rifle 15 has proven a popular choice among mass shooters due to numerous characteristics including its light weight, reliability, accuracy, ease of use and rate of fire. AR-15s were wielded by shooters at Sandy Hook Elementary School and San Bernardino Inland Regional Centre.
Despite initial reports to the contrary, the Orlando shooter, did not in fact wield an AR-15 during the assault. Instead, he used a similar Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle. The MCX bears most if not all of the characteristics that have made the AR-15 such a popular weapon. It was originally designed from the ground up for U.S. Special Ops forces.
“In particular, the AR-15 has been selling very, very well,” said Hunter’s Warehouse owner, Tom Engle, in an interview with Fox Business.
“Shootings don’t push up gun sales,” he added. “It’s when the government starts talking about banning particular guns and up go gun sales. When people lose their right to buy a particular gun or a particular type of gun, they go after them and they want them then.”
Assault style weapons like the AR-15 were banned in the United States by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, but the firearms were reintroduced onto the market after that law expired in 2004. The AR-15 has now gained immense popularity among competitive range shooters, hunters and individuals interested in securing their homes. The gun is extremely versatile and can be modified for a wide range of uses. The Sig Sauer MCX used in the attack is equally modular, portable and accurate along with being able to fire rounds that are as quiet as a pistol while packing the range and lethality of a rifle cartridge.
The U.S. Senate voted down four proposed gun-control measures that have been introduced in the wake of the Orlando massacre that killed 49 and injured more than 50. Among the proposals was a measure that would make background checks for all gun sales, including those at gun shows, mandatory.
Buying a gun online involved purchasing the weapon and having it shipped to one of the country's 130,000 Federal Firearms Licensed dealers.
Online gun sales generally involve a buyer having the weapon shipped to a nearby Federal Firearms License holders. A background check is required meaning the "gun show loophole" is effectively closed with online sales. However, buyers can meet up with sellers in person after meeting online to forego a background check by purchasing the weapon in a private transaction. Rhode Island and California require background checks for all private sales, and another 12 states require checks for private handgun sales. Laws have been proposed that would require both the buyer and seller engaged in a private sale to go to an FFL dealer to complete background checks, but not enough votes were received in the Senate when that measure was advanced.