On Monday, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) published an anti-gun op-ed in TIME in which they argued, “Guns like the AR-15 aren’t used for hunting and they’re not viable for home protection. They have only one purpose, and that’s to fire as many rounds as possible, as quickly as possible.”
Feinstein reiterated the statement on Twitter, writing, “Guns like the AR-15 aren’t used for hunting and they’re not viable for home protection. They have only one purpose: fire as many rounds as possible, as quickly as possible. 60% of Americans support outlawing these weapons.”
The first statement, that “Guns like the AR-15 aren’t used for hunting and they’re not viable for home protection,” is simply untrue. As RealTree reported in November 2016:
According to a recent study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 27 percent of hunters surveyed have used a modern sporting rifle (MSR) in pursuit of game. Of those, 48 percent report having used a MSR within the past five years, illustrating a growth in the use of the platform among those hunters surveyed. Of those answering yes to the use of an MSR for hunting, nearly 60 percent state they have used that platform to hunt large game.
One website devoted to hunting rifles stated:
Compact features of the AR-15 make it an excellent hunting rifle. The vertical grip and magazine make for a much more ergonomic fit of rifle to shooter, especially for younger or smaller hunters. Larger or taller hunters also enjoy the vertical grip as well as the additional advantage of being able to reach further down the free-floating handguard for more comfort if needed. The front carry sling system found on most AR-15’s allows the hunter to walk extended distance without any concern for the rifle as it always hangs ready from the shoulders.
As far as the claim that AR-15s are “not viable for home protection,” The Washington Free Beacon pointed out that The Daily Signal delineated in March 2018 eight separate incidents in which an AR-15 was effectively used for home or business protection: a 2013 incident in which a 15-year-old boy defended himself and his 12-year-old sister from two home invaders; another incident in 2013 in which a college student’s unloaded AR-15 scared off two armed burglars; a 2014 incident in the Ferguson, Missouri riots in which only one business survived the onslaught in a 2-square mile radius because men guarded it with an AR-15; a 2017 incident in which a target of a drive-by shooting used his AR-15 to ward off an attack by three armed men; another 2017 incident in which a 19-year-old boy defended his home from three invaders; a third 2017 incident in which a man near a church in Texas forced a shooter to flee; a 2018 incident in which a man stopped an attack a man armed with a knife was about to commit against a pregnant woman, and another 2018 incident in which a man used an AR-15 to stop a threat from a relative of three robbers who had targeted the man’s home.