Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) claims AR-15s are “not for hunting,” but ATF Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk says AR-15s are “standard for hunting activities.”

Nelson put forth his claim during a February 16 exchange with NBC News, wherein he said, “I have hunted all my life. I still hunt with my son. But an AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing.”

But ATF Associate Deputy Director Turk says the AR-15 is “now the standard for hunting activities.” In fact, Turk says the use of AR-15s for hunting is so widespread that the ATF should revisit previous studies on the gun and amend them.

On January 20, 2017, the Washington Post published a “White Paper” wherein Turk wrote, “The use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as “modern sporting rifles” has increased exponentially in sport shooting. These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities. ATF could re-examine its 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than it was years ago.”


AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at