(KXNET) — The Second Amendment to the Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms, and about a third of U.S. adults say they own a gun.

But many anti-gun activists are calling on our nation’s leaders to implement stricter gun laws, and even ban some types of guns completely.

We are breaking down a common misconception about the most popular rifle in America: the AR-15.

A semi-automatic rifle, commonly known as an AR-15, was created in the 1960s for civilians by the gun company, ArmaLite.

A fully automatic rifle, known as a machine gun or an M-4, was also created by Armalite in the 1960s, but for military soldiers.

“The military was looking for a new weapon and developed the M16. A couple of years after that, ArmaLite decided to make a civilian version of the same rifle. And that’s what they put out on the market, was the AR-15. AR stands for Armalite not assault rifle.” Rob Fuller, the owner of Spartan Firearms.

AR-15s have become a powerful, political, and cultural symbol in America.

Mass shootings and gun control debates have divided our country, as anti-gun activists demand assault weapons to be banned.

But assault weapons have been banned since 1934 when the National Firearms Act was enacted.

“They have a magazine that’s anywhere from five to 30 rounds. And it’s a semi-automatic weapon rifle meaning each time you pull the trigger a round will fire. But you have to pull the trigger for the round to fire. This is the same gun, just in a Woodstock. So, it looks like it’s not as scary as people say. It’s not an assault rifle, it’s not an assault weapon, and it’s not a weapon of war,” said Fuller.

Handguns are the most common weapon type used in mass shootings in the U.S., with 161 different handguns being used in 111 incidents between 1982 and March 2023. Semi-automatic weapons have been used in 58 shootings in those years.

Fuller said, “We had guns growing up all the time. We carried them in our vehicles we did everything. And nobody ever got a gun out and started shooting anybody. So what’s happened since, 1995 to now that people are shooting everybody? Is it guns? the guns haven’t changed. The gun laws haven’t changed.”

Fuller says the best way to ensure safety when dealing with any type of gun is to educate yourself and practice basic gun safety.

Second Amendment supporters say, addressing other problems in our country, like mental illness, could be key to solving gun violence in our country.

And whether you own a gun or don’t a basic understanding of guns is always good to know.