Sales of assault rifle used in Orlando shooting skyrocket

THE AR-15 is a firearm which has become synonymous with mass shootings.

Last year it was used by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik when they killed 14 people and seriously injured 22 in San Bernadino, California.

In 2012 it was used by James Eagan Holmes when he opened fire in a movie theatre in Aurora Colorado. Dressed as the Batman character the Joker Holmes killed twelve people and injured seventy others.

Later that year it was the weapon of choice for Adam Lanza who killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connetticut. 

Much earlier, in 1996, Martin Bryant used an AR-15 during the Port Arthur massacre which sparked much tighter gun controls across all Australian states and territories.

However, in an unusual turn of events residents in Orlando, Florida have responded to their nation's most bloody ever mass killing, which took place on Sunday morning when 29 year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in a LGBT nightclub killing 50 people, by buying AR-15s en-masse. 

As one Floridian told local media channel 11Alive the reason for the rush is gun-owners are now more frightened than ever about new laws re-regulating ownership.

"With all the talk of gun control, I'm afraid is what's going to happen, is the price is going to go up like it did and we're going to get the fluctuation in price," gun-owner Mike Barnwell said.

And gun store owner Jay Wallace explained the guns weren't full automatic. 

"It's a big misconception that these are fully automatic firearms," said Wallace. "Many people say that. But they are totally wrong. It's the same as any other firearm, you pull the trigger one time and it fires one time."

"I'm not a terrorist. It's hard to say," Wallace said.

"But if we want to try and get into a terrorist mind, I think they go by their religious beliefs and I don't think the religious beliefs say kill people with a rifle. It just says 'kill people.' And if they don't kill people with a rifle, they'll kill them some other way and you won't be any less dead."