LOVELAND, Colo. – A Loveland gun shop has partnered with the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organization for a gun giveaway.
The AR-15 is the civilian version of the military M-16 rifle. The M-16 is fully automatic, but the AR-15 is semiautomatic meaning it shoots one round per trigger pull.
The AR-15 is a controversial weapon and has been used in several high-profile mass shootings including the Aurora theater shootings last year.
It was banned from 1994 to 2004 and is frequently mentioned in the gun control debate.
RMGO executive director Dudley Brown told the newspaper the AR-15 was specifically selected for the giveaway.
“We’re giving away a firearm that is likely to be banned in the Colorado Legislature unless we defeat it,” he told the newspaper. “We know we’re facing literally dozens of gun control bills in the Legislature this year.”
Brown said the reaction to the giveaway has been positive.
Jensen Arm’s manager Mike Rigg called the gun a “modern sporting rifle” and that owners use it for hunting, competition, general plinking and self-defense.
He said it carries a 20-round magazine and retails for around $1,400.
Rigg objected to a criticism of the AR-15 saying “one lunatic with a one-ton pickup can cause more mayhem” in a crowd of pedestrians.
“Evil lurks in the heart of man, and nobody wants to call evil, evil,” he said.