AK-47 Pistol Becoming More Popular in El Paso Area
POSTED: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 6:25pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 4, 2010 - 3:47am
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.