Letter: Misleading information taints reputation of the AR-15 amid debate
Once again, many gun-control advocates are beating the drums for more gun control. President Barack Obama and others suggest that assault rifles be banned because they are for military use and should not be sold to civilians.
The most commonly listed weapon is the AR-15. The AR-15 was first built in 1959 by ArmaLite as a small-arms rifle for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the design to Colt. After some modifications, the redesigned rifle was adopted as the M16 rifle. In 1963, Colt started selling the semi-automatic version of the rifle for civilians as the Colt AR-15. Although the name AR-15 remains a Colt registered trademark, variants of the firearm are made, modified and sold under various names by multiple manufacturers.
The AR does not stand for automatic rifle but for ArmaLite, the original designer of the AR-15. Its popularity is mostly due to its lightweight, durability, and the lightweight ammunition it uses (.223).