America’s Rifle: Why So Many People Love the AR-15

Devotees argue that the weapon — America's most popular rifle — has been wrongly demonized

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John Moore/Getty Images, File

AR-15 semiautomatic rifles may have been used in recent mass shootings from Newtown to San Bernardino, but the many Americans who love them see the guns as finely tuned tools, exciting toys or a symbol of American values, NBC News reported.

"There are few things you'll find that are wonderfully appealing to look at, wonderful exercises in mechanical engineering, and that could save your life," said Maryland AR-15 owner Daniel Chandler, 26.

There have been attempts to ban the weapon, prompting "panic buying" that led to record sales under President Barack Obama, though fears of prohibition have subsided under President Donald Trump, as have purchases.

Devotees argue that the weapon — America's most popular rifle — has been wrongly demonized, as the vast majority of owners never use it for crime.

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