AR-15 weapon at center of gun control debate

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

The semi-automatic AR-15 is a weapon much of the gun control debate has been centered around.

Scott Beigel was a geography teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and one of 17 people murdered when a lone gunman opened fire in February. Police say the 35-year-old was shot a total of six times in less than three seconds and was most likely dead before hitting the ground. The killer's weapon of choice, an AR-15.

The weapon is the same used in some of the deadliest mass shootings in recent history, including Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Texas, San Bernardino, and Newtown, Connecticut. However, the fact is, many Long Islanders legally own AR-15 style guns.

Edward Newman from Dark Storm Industries in Oakdale manufactures about 3,000 of the weapons each year and claims they're no more dangerous than any other consumer-grade firearm.

Experts say the AR-15 is most similar to a military grade M-4, with one key difference, the M-4 has fully automatic capabilities.

As for the AR-15 sporter, the gun only shoots in semi-automatic mode, which means just one bullet fires with every pull of the trigger.

Instead of focusing on firearms, some say they want authorities to hone in on the people who commit these horrific acts of violence and prevent them from getting guns in the first place.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • LI’s new bishop accused of covering up priest sex abuse allegations in new report

    LI’s new bishop accused of covering up priest sex abuse allegations in new report

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 6:42 PM EDT2018-08-15 22:42:15 GMT
    Long Island's new bishop is named in a 900-page report that says 1,000 children and possibly more, were molested by about 300 Pennsylvania priests during the last 70 years.Long Island's new bishop is named in a 900-page report that says 1,000 children and possibly more, were molested by about 300 Pennsylvania priests during the last 70 years.

    Long Island's new bishop is named in a 900-page report that says 1,000 children and possibly more, were molested by about 300 Pennsylvania priests during the last 70 years.

    Long Island's new bishop is named in a 900-page report that says 1,000 children and possibly more, were molested by about 300 Pennsylvania priests during the last 70 years.

  • Forecast: Mostly sunny Thursday, scorching highs around 91

    Forecast: Mostly sunny Thursday, scorching highs around 91

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-08-15 20:34:28 GMT
    News 12 Long Island Weather CenterNews 12 Long Island Weather Center

    News 12 Long Island Weather

    News 12 Long Island Weather

  • Melville FD: Lightning strike likely sparked USDAN camp fire

    Melville FD: Lightning strike likely sparked USDAN camp fire

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 5:36 PM EDT2018-08-15 21:36:47 GMT
    A lightning strike is being blamed for causing a fire that destroyed two buildings at a renowned Long Island arts camp, according to the Melville Fire Department.A lightning strike is being blamed for causing a fire that destroyed two buildings at a renowned Long Island arts camp, according to the Melville Fire Department.

    A lightning strike is being blamed for causing a fire that destroyed two buildings at a renowned Long Island arts camp, according to the Melville Fire Department.

    A lightning strike is being blamed for causing a fire that destroyed two buildings at a renowned Long Island arts camp, according to the Melville Fire Department.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Aftermath of bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy

    Aftermath of bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy

    A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.
    A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

    A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 45 meters (nearly 150 feet) into a heap of rubble.

    A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 45 meters (nearly 150 feet) into a heap of rubble.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

  • Wicked August weather photos

    Wicked August weather photos

    Wednesday, August 8 2018 9:22 AM EDT2018-08-08 13:22:29 GMT
    Lightning in Plainview on Aug. 7Lightning in Plainview on Aug. 7

    August 2018 has brought Long Island some hot, hazy and humid weather. But it also brought some wicked and wild storms! Check out some photos from across the Island.

    August 2018 has brought Long Island some hot, hazy and humid weather. But it also brought some wicked and wild storms! Check out some photos from across the Island.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."