Firearm expert discusses weapon used in Orlando massacre - WNEM TV 5

Firearm expert discusses weapon used in Orlando massacre

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U.S. lawmakers are considering making new rules that would restrict the sale and use of guns to certain Americans.

The dialogue in the Senate directly follows the mass shooting carried out in an Orlando nightclub.

TV5 spoke with a Michigan State Police expert on firearms to find out more about the weapon the killer used in the massacre.

"Any number of weapons can be classified as an assault weapon," said David Simon, commander of the MSP tri-cities post.

Simon is also a former firearms instructor.

Although assault style firearms are back in the news after the tragedy in Orlando, Simon said those types of weapons can serve other purposes.

"Some people will look at an AR platform or an M4 platform and they look at that as a menacing weapon. When it's a rifle and it can be used for personal defense. It's used for target shooting, it's used for recreation and it's used for hunting," Simon said.

According to the Merriam Webster's Student Dictionary, an assault rifle is any of various rifles, including automatic rifles designed for military uses - also called an assault weapon.

Simon said automatic weapons, like machine guns aren't available to the general public.

"You would have to be permitted through the BATFE, the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives, in order to possess a fully automatic firearm outside of law enforcement," Simon said.

Simon doesn't get caught up in trying to define different types of guns. He said in the wrong hands any type of firearm can be dangerous.

"We treat all weapons the same," Simon said.

He said AR-15s and weapons like that are semi-automatic weapons. They are not assault rifles, as defined by Webster's dictionary. Simon also said regardless of the type of firearm, those who are up to no good will do what they can to carry out their plot.

"If he's committed to what he's going to do, I don't think any weapons ban is going to stop those type of people from acting out in that way," Simon said.

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