The shooter was a Ruger AR-556, which is, in the words of its instruction manual, “a gas impingement driven, box magazine fed, autoloading rifle.”
The shooter has a suggested retail price of between $799 and $849, depending on the model.
The shooter was introduced as a budget-conscious alternative to the since-discontinued piston-driven Ruger SR-556, which retailed for $1,995.
According to Guns and Ammo, the introduction of the shooter in 2014 made “it easier than ever for people to get into the AR-15 platform without breaking the bank.”
The shooter uses 30 round 5.56 mm magazines. In states with magazine capacity restrictions, the shooter comes with a 5- or 10-round magazine instead.
The shooter will fire each time the trigger is pulled until the magazine is empty.
The shooter is based on the AR-15 platform, which allows the shooter to be customized with a wide variety of standard accessories.
For example, the shooter can be used with a Slide Fire SSAR-15 MOD bump stock to simulate automatic fire, as seen in this demonstration, in which 41 rounds are fired in about four seconds.
The shooter can also be fitted with a high-capacity magazine. Here’s someone firing 60 rounds from the shooter in 24 seconds without a bump stock:
The shooter was manufactured in Mayodan, North Carolina, in a facility that used to dye yarn before the domestic textile industry collapsed in the 1990s.
To ensure that the shooter would eventually be manufactured in Mayodan, the state of North Carolina gave the shooter’s company as much as $13.7 million in tax breaks, after a bidding process in which the state raised its offer three times.
America would have to find new jobs for about 2,110 people if the shooter’s manufacturer, Sturm, Ruger, & Co., shut down entirely. At the beginning of October, 11,600 Americans had been killed by gun violence so far in 2017.
In 2016, the CEO of the company that made the shooter, Michael O. Fifer, received $4,268,332 in total compensation, comprising $571,000 in salary, $121,663 in profit sharing, $697,116 in performance-based nonequity compensation awards, $575,000 in performance-based stock awards, $575,000 in time-based stock awards, and $1,728,553 in “other compensation.” In 2017, Christopher J. Killoy replaced Fifer as CEO; his total compensation in 2016 was $2,523,773.
The shooter’s manufacturer donated $4 million to the NRA’s lobbying arm in 2016 as part of a promotion called “the 2.5 Million Gun Challenge,” in which money was donated to the NRA-ILA for each new gun sold. More than 2 million new guns were sold. Here’s Fifer presenting a giant novelty check to Wayne LaPierre in 2012, back when it was the 1 Million Gun challenge:
As of March 15, the single largest holder of common stock in the shooter’s company was BlackRock Inc., which held 2,449,923 shares, or roughly 13.9 percent. As of Sunday, shares in the shooter’s company were trading at $50.80, meaning this represents about $125 million invested in making more shooters. Other major stockholders in the shooter’s company include the London Company of Richmond, Virginia; the Vanguard Group of Malvern, Pennsylvania; and Capital World Investors, a division of the Capital Group of Los Angeles.
The shooter killed at least 26 people in church on Sunday in the hands of a man named Devin Patrick Kelley.