Semi-automatic rifle front and center of mass shootings - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Semi-automatic rifle front and center of mass shootings

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -

It's labeled as one of the most owned rifles in America, but with a connection to three separate mass killings just this year in the U.S., some fear its days could be numbered.

A version of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was believed to be the primary weapon in the Connecticut school shooting that killed 26 people.

Its also been linked as the primary weapon in the Oregon mall killings, the shooting at an Aurora, Colo. theatre and the 2002 Washington, D.C. sniper attacks.

Monday the rifle was pulled from Wal-Mart's website, but is being sold heavily nationwide.

It's a weapon widely known as a civilian's version of the military's M-16.

"Very much so," said Charlie Craver with Don's Weaponry in North Little Rock when asked if this was a very popular selling gun.

We learned they're most widely used for recreation and shooting competitions. One gun owner said many Arkansans hunt coyote with them because of the accuracy.

"There's little recoil, they don't make a lot of noise and they're just fun to shoot," Craver added.       

He also said many gun owners don't even associate it as being a very powerful gun among all the choices.

"As far as power and stuff like that we have rifles that are much, much more powerful," he added. "I mean there are some that you could take down an elephant if you wanted to."

However, the quick fire makes it easy to shoot several bullets in a short span.

Amid a tragic elementary school shooting that this rifle type is now closely associated with, people across the nation head to gun stores for fear they won't be around much longer.

"I think possibly they'll limit the capacity on the magazines. As far as confiscating the guns, that's going to be pretty difficult," Craver continued.