Assault rifle popularity grows with talk of gun control - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Assault rifle popularity grows with talk of gun control

The AR-15 is lightweight at around seven pounds. The AR-15 is lightweight at around seven pounds.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The AR-15, it's the type of rifle we've heard a lot about in the wake of the Connecticut shooting, and Clyde Morgan, who owns Sherman Hill Shooting Center says it's many people's gun of choice.

"We've had quite an increase in the number of people who fire the AR-15 rifle," Clyde Morgan explained.

It's lightweight at around seven pounds. Morgan says it holds five, 20 or 30 round magazines.

"It's popular because it has a relatively short barrel, 16 inches, with a one-inch flash suppressor and it has a collapsible stock that can be adjusted for almost any body configuration," said Morgan.

Morgan doesn't refer to this as an "assault weapon," but instead, a sporting rifle because that's how he sees it most commonly used.

"They like to shoot and they can shoot a lot of rounds in a short period of time and it's fun," Morgan said with a smile.

The gun owner demonstrated, even if shot in fun, just how quickly those magazines can be changed, and emptied.

But even sportsmen may soon have trouble buying these types of rifles.

Dick's Sporting Goods has announced it's pulling certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles off its shelves nationwide. They're removing all guns from the store nearest to Newtown, Connecticut.

The store says it's move to remove some inventory is out of respect for the victims and families of last week's tragedy. They have not indicated how long the suspensions will stay in place.

The NRA released its first statement since the Connecticut shooting Tuesday. In part, the group said they've given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. But say they are prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. They are also planning what they call a major news conference this Friday.

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