AK-47 Pistol Becoming More Popular in El Paso Area

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POSTED: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 5:25pm

UPDATED: Saturday, December 4, 2010 - 2:47am

CHAPARRAL- The AK-47 is the most popular assault rifle in the world, used in armed conflict across the globe.  But a variation on that weapon is being bought more and more here in El Paso.  NewsChannel 9's Matt Rivers reports on the possible consequences.

A familiar weapon, with a name as fierce as its sound.  But what many don't' know is that the AK-47 comes not just as rifle, but as a pistol.

"It's a pistol version because it has a short barrel and it has no butt stock.  That's why its classed as a pistol," says Chaparral Guns owner Ian Garland.

He says business has been good lately, with sales of both the AK rifle and pistol spiking.

Increased sales makes for an increased street presence.  El Paso Police spokesman Mike Baranyay says officers have seen the guns more, but calls the increase very small.

"In the past, we rarely saw these weapons in any type of seizure or any type of patrol stop, but this year we have seen a slight increase."

The AK pistol requires a background check before you can buy one.  But match it up to guns carried by police, and there's a clear winner.

The AK-47 pistol holds up to 30 rounds, which is about double the capacity of your average police handgun.  That means the person who fires this weapon might have the upper edge in a firefight.

Garland says none of his guns have ever turned up in a criminal investigation, but admits that once they leave his shop, they could end up anywhere.

We asked him if he ever gets worried his guns might end up in the wrong hands. 

"Sometimes, yeah.  But if they say proceed and they're good to go, the FBI says they're good to go, they're good to go," he told us.

With such a violent city across the border, keeping such powerful guns in the right hands could mean everything.

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Too short of a clip I would have liked to have seen more of a story on this subject. How many AK-47 have been used in El Paso crimes and how many police face offs have there been if any? Ian is a great dealer and I've bought several guns from him, including the model in this video.

Matt, I'm surprised you dignified that schmuck with a reply. Keep up the great work. Good story. Gonna git me one of those now....

This "weapon" is a rifle not a pistol.

If you want to buy a great firearm with great control and it is like haveing a M16 in your hand and you can hit what you are shooting at, the target. The pistol is a 5x7x28 and it is great and hardly and recoil and the boys across the river do not like it at all. So do yourself a favor and get you one .It is an FN 5x7x28, look it up.

The AK -47 is a great fire arm as a rifle and is hard to control for the average person.Now the pistol is even worse to control and the average person if they have any brains would not waste there money in the purchase of one. You can have fire power but what can you hit with a volume of fire. We use to call it spray and pray and hope you hit something?

That's why I have two of them...just in case a big bad wolf wants to huff and puff. Incidentally, I'm just as effective without one of these bad boys...it only takes one well placed round to neutralize a potential adversary, so my 9mm's come in quite handy too. They're an extension of who I am...22 years in the military, exposed to villainous types in far off lands doing their damnedest to "off" me; it's who I am, it's what I do.

"Smart reporter" I can't believe some people when it comes to gun safety, you should be ashamed of yourself, never point a loaded weapon in the vacinity of people or of the viewing audiance, maybe next time you should do a story on gun safety.

I apologize if you were at all offended by the story, but the gun I held was not pointing at anyone. If you go back to the video, you will see the barrel is not pointed at the camera at any point. Also, I have no photographer, so no one was standing behind the camera. And finally, my interview subject was standing behind me. Safety was and continues to be a top concern at Channel 9. Thanks very much for watching though!

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