Debunking The "AR-15 Was In The Trunk" Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory

One of the more vile things I have to deal with when I write about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary  are those twisted souls who push the insanity that 27 families in Newtown, Connecticut—a city of more than 28,000 that is the home of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)—took part in an elaborate and perfect hoax where a cast of thousands perpetrated a fraud… presumably in order to institute a gun confiscation plot that never took place.


These people infuriate me, but they’re easy enough to deal with by simply banning them.

A bit more difficult to deal with are those who have been fed the fantasy that the attacker* did not use a Bushmaster AR-15 to carry out 26 murders and wound two other people in the school. For whatever reason, people who normally know that you can’t trust anything the mainstream media says about firearms, at any time, suddenly feel compelled to believe that the various early and conflicting reports from that specific day must be true.

What they can’t seem to tell you is why the media got it right just this one time, before they went back to being completely ignorant.

The key claim of the “he didn’t use an AR-15” argument is the claim that when officers searched his car, they found an AR-15 in the vehicle. Some people even claim that video from the media proves an AR-15 was recovered from the trunk.

Actually, the video resoundingly debunks the claim that an AR-15 was in the trunk.

Here it that conclusive video.

Watch the video carefully you’ll see all you need in the first 15 seconds.

You will note that when a law enforcement officer goes to clear the weapon, he must cycle the bolt. The way you cycle an AR-15 (for most right-handed people) is to grab the pistol grip of the rifle with the right hand, and then use your left hand to pull the charging handle back forcefully, which is located on the rear of the upper receiver.


But where was the charging handle on the weapon in the attacker’s trunk? Where did the law enforcement officer reach with his left hand?

He reached over the top of the firearm and grabbed the charging handle on the right side of the receiver, in a motion all too familiar to those of us with experience on the AKM platform. You can see that particular action in better light at the 2:07 mark of this video that shows various AK mag change techniques.

Here’s a screen capture of the moment the officer reaches over the top of the weapon with his left hand to cycle the bolt by grabbing the charging handle on the right side of the firearm.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the weapon recovered in the trunk of the vehicle was an AKM variant. The only AKM-pattern firearm owned by the slain mother of the attacker was a Saiga 12-gauge shotgun.

At the 6-second mark, you can see the officer ejecting the single shotgun round from the chamber. You can then see him looking in vain for a way to hold the bolt open to show that the weapon has been cleared. AKMs do not have an internal mechanism to lock the bolt back on an empty chamber the way an AR-15 does. He search was in vain.

Around the 14-15 second mark, you get a good if quick look at the aftermarket stock the attacker’s mother put on the Saiga. It appears to be an ATI Fiberforce, a cheap and common replacement stock for the standard conventional stock on many Saiga variants.

The ATI Fiberforce stock is a cost-effective and commonplace replacement Stock for the Saiga 12 gauge shotgun.

These facts—charging handle location, shell ejection instead of a bullet, lack of a bolt hold-open device, and Dragunov-style aftermarket AK stock—clearly shows that the firearm recovered from the trunk of the murder’s car two years ago was indeed a Saiga shotgun.

The Bushmaster AR-15 which was recovered beside the deranged young murderer’s body after he fired 154 rounds, killing 26 people in five minutes and wounding two more who survived. The Bushmaster AR-15 was the only firearm fired at Sandy Hook Elementary, other than the single shot he fired from a Glock 20 to end his life. The Saiga shotgun was the vehicle recovered from the trunk.

Hopefully, we can put at least this rumor to rest.

* Bearing Arms does not reward mass killers with the fame they desire by publishing their names.

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