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Navy Veteran Pete Buttigieg Says It's Not Misleading to Label AR-15s as 'Weapons of War'

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Las Vegas, NV — South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg said it is not misleading to label firearms, like AR-15s, as weapons of war because of the damage they can cause.


Speaking with reporters after participating in the "2020 Presidential Gun Safety Forum" on Wednesday, Townhall asked if it is misleading to call AR-15s "weapons of war" since the U.S. military does not issue them. The standard rifle the American military uses is the M-16A4, or its smaller cousin, the M4.

Buttigieg served in the Navy as an intelligence officer and often points to his military service to advocate for banning "the sale of assault weapons, like what I carried in Afghanistan."

AR-15s are unable to fire more than one round per trigger pull, but M-16s and M4s are capable of firing multiple rounds per trigger pull.

"I would invite them to visit the city of Dayton and see just how many people that a gunman was able to kill and injure in a matter of seconds because of the weaponry that he had access to," Buttigieg said.


While police were quick to respond to the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, the gunman was able to kill nine people and injure 27 others in less than a minute.

"And whether we're talking about AKs, ARs, or anything else that even remotely resembles an M4 or M-16. The point is not the small differences in firing mechanisms or certain capabilities. The point is that they're weapons with destructive power that there is simply no justification for them to be in civilian hands," he added. 

While Buttigieg has not supported a mandatory buyback of AR-15s and AK-47s, rather focusing on a ban, he said he "will not rule out any measure that would get the weapons that are on the streets, off the streets."

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