Modified AR-15 rifles in low demand: NY shop owners

NEW YORK Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:32pm EST

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The new AR 15 semi-automatic rifles, designed to meet tough gun restrictions passed by some states in the wake of mass shootings, are now in gun shops in New York state but initial demand has been low, shop owners said.

Complying with New York and Connecticut gun laws aimed at creating weapons that are less lethal, the modified models have a higher price tag.

"The market for AR 15s has moved over the border to Pennsylvania," John Kielbasa, who recently received his first manufacturer shipment of the new rifles, designed specifically to comply with New York's new laws.

"I'm a one-man shop, and for many manufacturers who used to deal with me, it's not worth it anymore," he said, adding he is considering not selling the weapon at his Hankins, New York, shop, about a mile from the Pennsylvania border.

The two main modifications to the AR 15 rifles are the lack of a muzzle brake, which controls the rapid fire of bullets, and a flash hide, or suppressor, which limits the flash of light coming out of the barrel, Kielbasa said.

The suppressor allowed night-time shooters to obscure their location by masking the "flash" of light. The new AR 15 model costs about $100 more than the old one.

Some states have tightened gun restrictions in the wake of mass shootings, especially since a 20-year-old gunman walked into a Newtown, Connecticut school and killed 20 children and six adults in 2012.

In states like New York and Connecticut officials said they are not sorry the new guns are not flying off the shelf.

"One of the goals of the legislation is to have fewer of these kinds of weapons in circulation over time, and we're pretty sure that will happen," said Mike Lawlor, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning.

Different requirements set by states such as New York, Connecticut, California and Ohio, make production costly and time-consuming, some manufacturers said. Others said the standards demanded of them do not make the guns safer but only changes how they look.

"Cosmetic changes to firearms are not really the issue," said Mike Bazinet, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for firearms manufacturers.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; editing by Gunna Dickson)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (12)
“…………. the lack of a muzzle brake, which controls the rapid fire of bullets, and a flash hide, or suppressor, which limits the flash of light coming out of the barrel, Kielbasa said.”

The libtards, hard at work. WOW they managed to have the muzzle break removed…..and this controls “rapid fire boooolits” ?? Who wrote this article?

Feb 11, 2014 3:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Baalbaroth wrote:
Really? Without knowing how the author feels about firearms or their private ownership, what I CAN say is that his Google-FU is sorely lacking.

Muzzle Break – Redirects gases leaving the muzzle of the barrel in order to reduce recoil and muzzle rise. It in no way “controls rapid fire of bullets” whatever that means.

Flash Hider (not flash hide) – Reduces amount of light (flash) leaving the muzzle of the barrel in order to protect the eyes of the shooter and prevent visual detection at long range.

Supressor – Reduces the amount of noise a discharged firearms makes to decibel levels that will not cause permanent damage if the shooter chooses not to wear hearing pretection.

Is it really THAT hard to look up words and cut-and-paste their definitions?

Feb 11, 2014 7:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
CO_Expat wrote:
Would it be too difficult for Reuters to have people who actually have knowledge of firearms to write firearms-related stories? This story has all the hallmarks of a reporter trying to interpret what he/she thought he/she heard, based upon only a minimal (indeed, virtually non-existent) knowledge of the subject at hand…

Either that, or this is a ludicrous attempt at demonizing muzzle brakes and flash hiders by implying that their primary use is to serve some insidious purpose. Muzzle brakes are generally used to mitigate recoil or to counteract muzzle rise – they do not control “the rapid fire of bullets”. Flash suppressors / hiders serve to minimize the muzzle flash sometimes present in low-light shooting situations (hunting at dawn or dusk, for example) from affecting the shooter’s night vision; they do not necessarily enable “night-time shooters to obscure their location”.

These laws are absurd – they ban firearms based upon cosmetic features; “It looks scary, so we must make it illegal!!!”

Feb 12, 2014 9:02am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.