LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As contention over gun legislation continues across the country, 8 News Now spoke with a local gun shop owner about the importance of education when it comes to firearms. 

The AR-15-style rifle is among the most popular in America, with around 20 million in circulation, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

While overall, it’s rarely used in a crime, this type of gun has been used to carry out nearly a dozen mass shootings in America since 2012. 

8 News Now spoke with Joshua Nilson, owner of Dark Horse Tactical in Henderson, about how this type of rifle differs from other firearms. 

“There are so many different uses for the AR-15,” Nilson explained. “That’s why it’s so prolific in our country here.”

Nilson explained that with this kind of semi-automatic rifle, the user must pull the trigger to fire each shot, and the weapon automatically reloads. It can fire about 60 rounds a minute. 

“These are traveling at faster speeds,” Nilson explained. “So, they can tend to cause more damage.”

However, a lot of that damage comes down to the type of ammunition used, and Nilson added that any gun can lead to destruction. 

“There’s so much misconception,” Michael Johnston, Chief Security Advisor of Boss Security Screens said. “About weapons and owning weapons.”

Therefore, Johnston told 8 News Now education is crucial for anyone purchasing a firearm, or just wanting to learn more about them. 

“I don’t care what kind of weapon you have,” Johnston said. “If you don’t train properly or regularly, it is a perishable skill.”

They urge everyone to always turn to gun shop owners or other experts with the most knowledge for advice. 

“The biggest thing is going to be education,” Nilson concluded. 

The manufacturing of fully automatic weapons and machine guns were banned in 1986 as part of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act. 

Bump Stock devices, which allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire in a quick, continuous cycle, were banned in 2019 after their use in the One October shooting.