Fact Check: Pete Buttigieg Falsely Claims Americans Are Buying Weapons of War

Democratic presidential hopefuls (from L) Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren participate in the tenth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute at the Gaillard …
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

CLAIM: Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) was discussing school shootings during the Democrat debate on Tuesday when he suggested Americans buy and use guns built for warfare.

VERDICT: False. Buttigieg’s words alluded to the decades-old Democrat claim that AR-15s are weapons of war, but they are not. AR-15s are semiautomatic rifles.

Buttigieg said, “I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for somebody to illustrate … why the kinds of weaponry, anything even remotely like I trained on in order to be sent to a war-zone, has no business being sold anywhere near an American school or church or neighborhood.”

The weaponry Buttigieg references, AR-15s, are semiautomatic rifles. They fire one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. Rifles made for warfare have a select-fire switch on the left side of the gun, which allows the gun’s action to be shifted from semiautomatic to three-round bursts. During earlier wars, like Vietnam, the select-fire switch allowed the gun to shift to full automatic.

The AR-15s sold in America have no such select-fire switch, and it is illegal to convert their actions to three-round bursts or full auto.

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


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