Lawmakers, gun dealers debate merits of AR-15 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawmakers, gun dealers debate merits of AR-15

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The AR-15 has long been debated after it's use in several mass shootings in the US.

“It has no relevance to American life except to commit mass homicide,” said U.S. Representative (D) John Yarmuth.

“We call them Barbie dolls for boys,” said OpenRange CEO Barry Laws. “They are things guys and girls can get into. They can customize them anyway they want. It's just a very fun. It's a hobby. They're used in tons of sporting events. They're used for hunting.”

Yarmuth disagrees with Laws in that regard and says the AR-15 and similar weapons have almost no value to American life.

“Dozens and dozens of shots were (in Orlando) and he could reload very quickly and fire more,” Yarmuth said over the phone. “That's not either a sports value or a hunting value”

It's illegal to purchase any fully automatic weapon that's been made since 1986 making them few and far between. Police say the Orlando shooter legally purchased his semi-auto AR-15 just several days before the shooting.

In order to purchase an AR-15 from a licensed dealer in Kentucky, you have to go through a background check via the national instant criminal background system. A dealer will then get a ‘proceed’, ‘delay’, or ‘deny’.

Laws says if someone has a clean background they can purchase the weapon in just minutes.

Yarmuth takes a hardline stance and wants to ban the AR-15 and similar weapons.

“I think the vast majority of Americans understand that we can impose reasonable restrictions on the types of weapons that are sold in this country,” he said.

Laws admits there are some loopholes in how the weapons are sold. .

“I could literally walk out in the parking lot with this gun, if it's my private gun. You could speak Zionoese. I could say 500 and you give me the money and I give you the gun and we haven't broken a law,” Laws said.

A basic AR-15 costs around 550 dollars.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates around 4 million AR-15s are owned around the country.

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