Democrats: AR-15s 'Aren't Used for Hunting,' 'Not Viable for Home Protection'

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Christopher Murphy (D-CT) (R) talk as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) (L) looks on at a news conference. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
June 17, 2019

Two Senate Democrats falsely claimed Monday that the AR-15 is not used for hunting and isn't "viable for home protection" in a tweet promoting gun control proposals.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) penned an op-ed in TIME calling for the banning of AR-15s and similar assault weapons.

"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," they wrote. "Outlawing these weapons, an action supported by 60 percent of Americans, will bring down the number of mass shootings and reduce the number of casualties, just as it did when the ban first passed in 1994."

However, the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America, is used for hunting and home defense. MRC-TV noted a poll showing more than 25 percent of hunters reported using the rifle to hunt big game. In addition, the rifle is popular for home defense given its light weight and limited recoil, making it easier for owners to handle.

The Daily Signal reported on eight recent examples of civilians using AR-15s to protect themselves and others, including a 15-year-old Texas boy who fought off two home invaders threatening him and his 12-year-old sister.

Feinstein and Murphy called on Republicans to support their gun control measures or more deaths would ensue. Feinstein introduced an assault weapons ban in January in the Senate, where Republicans hold 53 seats.

"The House took action. Senate Democrats are ready to vote. It's time for Senate Republicans to show some courage and implement sane gun safety reforms. If we don't, more will die," they wrote.

AR-15s are a semi-automatic rifle variant of the automatic M-16 rifle. "Semi-automatic" means one bullet is fired for each time the trigger is pulled, while "automatic" means multiple rounds are fired for each trigger pull.