Skip to content

Reeher Talks to PolitiFact About the History and Popularity of the AR-15

June 30, 2022


Grant Reeher

Grant Reeher

Whether considered an assault rifle or America’s rifle, the AR-15 is emblematic of gun culture in the United States: Gun enthusiasts herald it for its versatility and power, whereas gun control advocates loathe its role in so many mass shootings. The 1994 federal assault weapons ban prohibited the manufacturing, selling or possession of some types of AR-15s. But since that law expired in 2004, there have not been any national laws regulating this type of rifle.

Moving forward, Grant Reeher, professor of political science, says he’s seeing "a pretty big sea change" in the national conversation around gun regulation. The previous approach was to focus on the types of weapons. This was reflected in the now-expired federal assault weapons ban, he says.

"But that obviously wasn’t yielding very much fruit," Reeher says. "So now the approach has been to go after classes of people, and say, alright, this group of people should not have access to firearms at all."

Read more in the PolitiFact article, "The history of the AR-15 and how it became a symbol of American gun culture."

Communications and Media Relations Office
200 Eggers Hall