Fact Check: Should the AR-15 Get a Special Status

Fact Check: Should the AR-15 Get a Special Status
Fact Check: Should the AR-15 Get a Special Status

Liberal stronghold Boulder, CO has just passed a new law that looks suspiciously like a trial run for a gun registry. Back in April the city council passed a law on the popular AR-15 rifle design. This was later amended to add a grandfather clause for existing rifles – but you can only keep your AR-15 if you have it “certified” by the sheriff’s department. So far, just 85 rifles have been certified, probably a small percentage of the AR-15s in Boulder. And yes, the AR-15 is being singled out here. What is it about this rifle – the civilian version of our military’s famous M16 and M4 – that offends liberals so much?


  • The AR-15 is an assault weapon! Well, a lot of liberals say it is, but it really isn’t. The M16 is an assault rifle, but even if an AR-15 looks almost the same as an M16, it has significant differences. The main one is that the AR-15 is semi-automatic only. And that means it’s not an assault rifle.
  • But it was defined as one! Yes it was, but not by anyone who knows what they’re talking about. Assault weapons are military equipment, and like everything in the military they have a clear definition. To qualify, a rifle has to have a detachable magazine, be chambered for an intermediate-power round, and be capable of semi- or full-automatic fire. The AR-15 is semi only, so it’s not an assault rifle. Sorry, libs.
  • Intermediate power? What? This is a high-powered military rifle! No it isn’t. The M14, FN FAL or your average deer rifle are about three times as powerful as an AR-15. They’re high-powered. The AR-15 is not. It’s illegal to hunt deer with a standard AR-15 in most states, because it’s not powerful enough. That means it might only wound the deer, not kill it.
  • It’s a rapid fire weapon though! Compared to a Revolutionary War musket, sure. Compared to any other modern semi-automatic? Nope, it doesn’t shoot any faster. Most importantly, it doesn’t shoot accurately any faster. Sure, you can empty the magazine as quick as you can pull the trigger 30 times. You can do that with any semi-automatic. But if you do, mostly you’re just making a noise. It isn’t pulling the trigger that takes the time; it’s aiming, so you actually hit something.
  • The AR-15 takes high-capacity magazines! So does any modern rifle with a STANAG magazine, which is, well… almost all of them. There is nothing unique about the AR-15’s magazine capacity.

In fact, when you get right down to it, there’s nothing unique about the AR-15 at all. It’s just a good, reliable American design, no more dangerous than any other rifle but popular because of its dependability and association with our armed forces. You really have to wonder why Boulder’s city council hate this emblem of freedom so much.