AR-15-style rifles have been used in at least 10 mass shootings in recent years, including the horrific mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando this past weekend.
And now the family of the man who invented the original AR-15 says that he’d be staunchly opposed to civilians having access to the kind of weapon he created for the military back in the 1950s.
“Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,” the Stoner family said in an interview with NBC News. “He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”
Although Stoner intended his gun to be used by military personnel in combat situations, Colt began selling semi-automatic variations of it to civilians in the 1960s. The Stoner family insists, however, that Eugene Stoner never intended for the gun to be a national bestseller.
“After many conversations with him, we feel his intent was that he designed it as a military rifle,” his family told NBC News.
Although the family is strongly hinting that AR-15-style rifles should be banned for civilian use, they didn’t give NBC News any specific policy recommendations.