FBI: Assault rifle used in Orlando mass shooting was legally sold
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FBI has confirmed the weapon used to kill 49 people and wound 53 more at the Pulse Orlando nightclub was an AR-style that Omar Mateen legally purchased in the last 10 days from a gun store near his south Florida home.
The owner of the St. Lucie Shooting Center where Mateen bought the Sig Sauer rifle and a Glock handgun legally within the past 10 days said the weapons were sold legally.
“A full background check was performed by Florida Department of Law Enforcement with coordination of FBI," Ed Henson said. "He did not buy the handgun and long gun at the same time. They were approximately a week a part. The long gun is a background check in Florida, it's a quick background check with the credential, your driver's ID. If you're a Florida resident, as long as you clear the background check, you can leave with that long gun."
Semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 banned from being manufactured in the United States in 1994, but Congress let the ban expire in 2004.
The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, which means the federal government does not require it to be registered by law. In fact, only a few states require the rifle to be registered. Florida and Georgia are among the states that don’t require semi-automatic weapons to be registered.
Fully-automatic weapons, such as machine guns, are required to be registered in Florida. The News4Jax I-TEAM found that 33.435 automatic weapons are registered in the state, making Florida second only to Texas nationally in registered automatic weapons.
Georgia has 28,046 registered automatic rifles.
In 2004, 3 million new firearms were manufactured – including pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns.
In 2013, that figure exploded to 10 million – an increase of 250 percent in 10 years.
Drilling down to just rifles
In 2004, 1.3 million rifles were manufactured, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF. In 2013, 3.9 million rifles were made in that year alone – a 200 percent increase.
More rifles were made in 2013 than all other types of firearms manufactured combined, according to ATF.
News4Jax couldn't retrieve data beyond 2013, nor did the ATF release a breakdown of the types of rifles sold. As a result, News4Jax cannot report how many AR-15s are being made and sold.
Division can be expected
Figures aside, gun-rights supporters claim guns aren’t the problem, people are the problem, and they make the decision to kill.
As gun rights are one of the most sensitive issues in United States, Americans can expect presidential candidates to address the issue leading up to the election in November.
Copyright 2016 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.