For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Backgrounder on Smith & Wesson M&P15 Assault Rifle Used in Mass Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

WASHINGTON - Following news reports that the AR-15 style rifle used in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifle, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released Understanding the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle

According to the VPC backgrounder, “The Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.”  

The same model assault rifle was also used in an attack that left 12 dead at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012 and in a mass shooting at a community center in San Bernardino, California in 2015 that left 14 dead.

The VPC backgrounder ( details the history and profit motive behind Smith & Wesson’s introduction into the civilian market of its M&P15 semiautomatic assault rifles in 2006 as well as the company’s financial support of the National Rifle Association (which in May 2013 was honored by the NRA at its annual meeting for donating at least a million dollars to the organization). It then explains the history, distinguishing features, and lethal capabilities of assault rifles like the M&P15. The backgrounder includes production data for the rifle as well as quotes from Smith & Wesson’s (now known as American Outdoor Brands Corp.) filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever

Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.

Share This Article

More in: