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TIME spoke with seven hunters who use semiautomatic guns like the AR-15 (46 hits)

“It’s the most capable tool for the job at this time,” said Eric Mayer, who runs http://ar15hunter.com “Bar none. Period. It is.”

Posted By: Steve Williams
Friday, February 23rd 2018 at 8:21AM
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After the Orlando nightclub shooting, Democrats criticized the routine sale of the type of semiautomatic rifle used by Omar Mateen. Hillary Clinton called them “weapons of war.” Illinois Sen. **** Durbin said that if you used a gun like the AR-15 — or the similar Sig Sauer used in Orlando — to go hunting “you should stick to fishing.”

But many gun owners say they use semiautomatic rifles to hunt regularly.

In interviews with TIME, leaders of 15 state shooting groups said semiautomatic rifles are popular with hunters in their states. Hunters say they favor the gun for its versatility, accuracy and customizable features for shooting animals. The semiautomatic feature, which allows these guns to shoot up to 45 rounds a minute, is not always necessary, but useful in some situations, hunters say.

Friday, February 23rd 2018 at 1:28PM
Steve Williams
A west Texas pig sighting is not a cute barnyard encounter; it’s a reason to grab a rifle. Across the southern United States, wild pigs cause $1.5 billion in annual property damage. Boar can weigh up to 300 pounds, run up to 30 miles per hour and in Jonathan Owen’s experience, quickly turn violent.

“You do not have to hunt with an AR-15,” Owen, an Abilene, Texas resident who runs SHWAT.com, told TIME. “But the practical benefits of being able to engage a lot of pigs at a time, safely, is a big win.” The semiautomatic and large capacity magazine features allow Owen to take several shots at multiple pigs in a few seconds. When engaging a pack of wild pigs in west-Texas’ shrubbery, Owen says these features ensure his safety.

Friday, February 23rd 2018 at 4:06PM
Steve Williams
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