AR-15 Inventor’s Family: It Was Never for Civilians

Rick Wilking/Reuters

A new Ruger AR-15 rifle is seen for sale at the Pony Express Firearms shop in Parker, Colorado December 7, 2015. Many Americans are stocking up on weapons after the country's worst mass shooting in three years. Gun retailers are reporting surging sales, with customers saying they want to keep handguns and rifles at hand for self-defense in the event of another attack.

The family of the now-deceased inventor of the AR-15 rifle spoke out Wednesday against civilian usage of the weapon. “Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,” the Stoner family said. “He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.” Members of the family asked for individual anonymity but said as a group that he was an “avid sportsman, hunter, and skeet shooter.” They said he neither used his creation for sport, nor kept it for personal defense. He never owned one, they said.