Bill Brassard is communications director for National Shooting Sports Foundation. Regarding the growing popularity of modern sporting rifles, he notes:
There used to be only a handful of companies making modern sporting rifles. Now, because of consumer demand, many companies are making them. These rifles are what target shooters and, increasingly, hunters want to shoot. Traditionalists may not care for the look, but to the younger generation — people up to 40 — this is what a modern rifle looks like. We’ve seen this happen before. After WWII, the semi-auto M1 became a popular civilian rifle. Today, it’s the civilian, semiautomatic rifle modeled after the military’s M16 that recreational shooters want. It’s important to note that these civilian rifles haven’t military capabilities like automatic fire.
According to Brassard, 4.8 million modern sporting rifles have been sold to civilians since 1990. Since every domestic sporting rifle manufacturer is currently accepting no more orders due to a one-year backlog, this number is rapidly increasing.
The NSSF data and current events show that modern sporting rifles are, as Heller stated, “overwhelmingly chosen by American society” and “in common use at the time.”
Whether due to technical or constitutional ignorance, Vice President Biden’s comparison of shotguns to rifles is invalid and misleading, and serves as evidence that for gun banners, any misrepresentation is an acceptable means to an end.