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Phillip Peterson, the author of Gun Digest Buyer’s Guide to Assault Weapons (2008) wrote:
The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.
To say a rifle that can interchange most every part with a military issue M16 or M4 is not a "military grade firearm" or that "there is nothing really assault about it" shows either total ignorance of firearms and the military use of them, or an attempt to spread disinformation. (Source: 11B training and expert marksmanship qualification).
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