AR-15 Rifle Used In Sandy Hook Shooting Becomes Popular Christmas Gift As Gun Sales Soar

Say It With Guns: Weapon Used In Sandy Hook Shooting Becomes A Christmas Gift Favourite (PICTURES)

As the world takes to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Boxing Day to show off its Christmas presents, it seems one gift in particular is standing out.

It looks like Santa was pretty generous doling out AR-15 style rifles this year, the weapon used in the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and the Aurora theatre massacre.

While Americans used social media to reveal their potentially lethal stocking fillers, it emerged the rush on guns and ammunition sales spiked to "unprecedented" levels ahead of Christmas Day.

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AR-15 weapons accessorised in pink and even leopard print were pictured being proudly brandished under the Christmas tree, three days after the last of the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims, of which 20 were children.

As The Verge points out: "The glee exhibited over gun gifts is a striking contrast to the outpouring of sympathy, horror, and anti-gun activism shared on social networks in recent weeks following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, and a sign that the country could have a long road ahead in resolving one of its most deeply divisive culture wars."

Brownells, the world's largest supplier of firearm accessories and supplies, released a statement on a forum for gun enthusiasts, apologising for the delay in fulfilling orders of assault weapon magazines, explaining that the company had experienced "unprecedented" demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines in the run up to Christmas.

AR-15 style rifles are this season's 'must-have' gift, apparently

Brownells' president Pete Brownell wrote on that the company has sold about 3.5 years worth of magazines in 72 hours, adding that the company is "working like crazy to get these orders to [customers] as quickly as possible."

Corpus noted that Brownells' 30- and 20-round magazines are selling quickly, and they've had to order more materials to keep up with the production demand.

In the days following the shooting, gun sales have risen dramatically. Paul Marquardt, owner of ArmsX, a Connecticut-based gun store near Sandy Hook Elementary, told The Huffington Post that the wait-time on the day after the shooting for a background check was nearly an hour - the longest wait-time he’s ever seen.

The AR-15 style rifle accounted for more than 25 percent of ArmsX’s recent sales, he said.

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The "threat of regulation has dramatically upset the normal flow of production and distribution," according to, and gun enthusiasts are continuing to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition while they can.

2012 was already a record year for gun sales before the shooting in Newtown on December 14, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who recorded more than 16.8 million background checks for guns purchased this year.

And since the FBI does not actually track the number of firearms purchased, the number of weapons sold could be even higher than the number of background-check calls, since customers can purchase multiple guns, according to USA Today.

And what did YOU get for Christmas?

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Say it with guns

Saying it with guns is not a new development by any means. Check out some of the vintage ads for American gun makers below:

Christmas Ad for Daisy Rifles (1972)

Vintage Gun Advertisements


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