Debate over AR-15 arises after school shooting

MANDAN, N.D. - Questions have once again been risen about the gun used in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. Police say the gunman used an AR-15, the most popular rifle in America according to the National Rifle Association.

Brandon Charvat has owned Mandan Sporting Goods for almost nine years. He says the AR-15 is one of the most popular guns he sells. In order to buy one, you fill out a firearms transaction record, and the employees input it into a database. As long as you're approved, you can walk out of the store minutes later with the gun.

"The FBI makes the decision if its approved, or denied, or delayed,” Charvat said.

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Wednesday, many gun opponents are asking for a ban on these and other types of semi-automatic weapons. One of the main arguments is that military-style weapons should not be in the hands of private citizens.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there are more than 10 million AR-15s owned by Americans. Proponents of the gun say most of those are used for self-defense and hunting purposes.

"You buy something like this for prairie dog hunting, or coyote. You have 30 rounds there before you have to reload,” Charvat said.

Charvat says in the last year he hasn't seen sales increase after mass shootings. But in the previous eight years, he says under the Obama administration, sales would skyrocket after incidents like the one in Florida this week.

"Especially after that Sandy Hook shooting, I mean to try and find an AR was, you couldn't,” he said. “I mean there was just none available, nobody was, none of my vendors distributions centers had any for me to buy."

Charvat says he hasn't received a call about an AR-15 since the shooting Wednesday, and when he talked to one of his distributors on Thursday, they hadn't received any calls about the gun either.

In the United States, you have to be 18 years old in order to buy a rifle, while you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun.