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A gun used by a man suspected of shooting and killing 10 people at a Boulder King Soopers would have been illegal under the city’s assault weapon ban that was recently blocked by a judge, though nobody ever had been cited under the ban while it was active.

The suspect purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol on March 16, six days before the mass killing, according to his arrest affidavit. Police recovered a rifle and a handgun inside the grocery store next to the tactical vest believed to be worn by the suspect, according to the affidavit, though it’s not clear whether the Ruger gun is the handgun or the rifle referenced in the document.

The Ruger AR-556 pistol is not technically a rifle, though many features of its design echo a rifle’s set-up.

“It’s not a sporting rifle, it’s not a hunting rifle,” said Joseph Vince, a professor at Mount St. Mary’s University who worked as a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent for more than 30 years. “It’s made for the military and short-range combat.”

The gun comes in two barrel lengths — either 9.5 or 10.5 inches — that are both shorter than the 12-inch definition of a handgun under Colorado law. The gun also has a brace on the back, which allows users to hold the gun against their shoulder for stabilization. Users can also equip a scope and, unlike many other pistols, ammunition is fed to the gun through a detachable magazine that is separate from the pistol’s grip.

It can be fitted with magazines of various capacities, and some retailers sell a Colorado-specific version of the gun that comes with a magazine that holds fewer than 15 rounds. State law bans magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. It’s unclear what kind of magazine the King Soopers suspect purchased.

A Ruger employee said in a video posted to a popular Youtube channel for gun owners that the pistol is “great for all the applications of a pistol or a rifle.” The gun has many of the advantages of a rifle while falling under regulations for a pistol, Vince said.

A gun like the Ruger AR-556 pistol was banned in Boulder until March 12, when a Boulder County District Court judge ruled the city’s ban on assault weapons and magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds was illegal. The city’s definition of prohibited assault weapons included semi-automatic pistols that can accept a magazine outside of the pistol grip.

Police have not said where the suspect bought the gun, and it’s unclear whether the ban would’ve had any impact on the shooting.

The court ruling means that the ban has been unenforceable since March 12, but Boulder police did not issue any citations under the ban during the two years it was in place, according to records received by The Denver Post after filing a public records request. The ordinance also allowed people to keep a banned weapon in their car while traveling in the city.

The city’s ban was put in place in 2018 in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. The judge ruled that state law forbidding local governments from passing gun regulations outranked the city’s powers as a home-rule municipality. City officials have not said whether they’ll challenge the ruling.

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Colorado law does not ban or define “assault weapons.” The law defines a handgun as having a barrel shorter than 12 inches. The sale and possession of handguns are generally allowed as long as the person meets the states’ requirements for legally owning a gun.

Despite a 2018 misdemeanor conviction, there’s no indication that the King Soopers shooting suspect would’ve been banned from buying a gun in Colorado.

State law does ban machine guns and “short rifles,” defined as “a rifle having a barrel less than 16 inches long or an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

A lapsed 1994 federal ban on assault weapons outlawed semi-automatic pistols with at least two of five characteristics, including allowing the attachment of a flash suppressor or a magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip. The Ruger-brand guns, like the one believed to be used by the King Soopers shooting suspect, have both of those characteristics.

But the federal law expired in 2004, meaning such guns are legal unless banned at the state or local levels.

“What’s occurred is that technology has made tremendous advances but gun laws haven’t kept up with them at all,” Vince said.


Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Country of origin

United States


Southport, Conneticut (US)

Key people

Michael O. Fifer (CEO)
Stephan L. Sanetti

Areas served

United States


Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens
Rugged and Reliable

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Incorporated is a firearm company based in Southport, Conneticut. Better known simply as Ruger, Sturm, Ruger & Co. produce rifles, shotguns, pistols and are perhaps best known for their single and double actionrevolvers. Currently Sturm, Ruger & Co. is the fourth largest gun manufacturer in the United States.


Sturm, Ruger & Co. was founded in 1949 by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm in a small rented machine shop. Their first creation, the Ruger Standard, an automatic pistol shooting .22 Long Rifle rounds was successful enough to launch the entire company. This success meant that Ruger has an almost exclusive monopoly on the .22 LR rimfire rifle market in the US. The popularity of the 10/22 semi-automatic rifle in particular has also increased Ruger's standing.

Ruger is also a major player in the .22 LR rimfire semi-automatic pistol market, the Ruger Mk II and Mk III following on from the Standard as popular guns.

In the 1950's, spotting a hole in the market for single action revolvers, the Ruger Single Six and later Ruger Blackhawk were released. These guns, particularly the Blackhawk and its subsequent variants, are well known for their classic look and use in Westerns and Cowboy Action Shooting.

Originally controlled by both Ruger and Sturm, the company was owned exclusively by Ruger, following Sturm's death in 1951, until Ruger's death in 2002. Ruger Casting has plants are located in Newport New Hampshire and Prescott Arizona creating iron and aluminum castings.

From 1949 until 2004 Ruger had made over 20 million guns, with their firearms being used for hunting, target shooting, self-defence and law enforcement. Ruger guns are also highly collectible.


Apart from a single attempt at a submachine gun, the Ruger MP9, Sturm, Ruger & Co. have exclusively produced rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols and both single and double action revolvers*:

All models are called Ruger... unless stated*


Semi-Automatic Pistols[]

  • P-Series
    • P85 (discontinued)
    • P89 (discontinued)
    • P90 (discontinued)
    • P91 (discontinued)
    • P93 (discontinued)
    • P94 (discontinued)
    • P944 (discontinued)
    • P95
    • P97 (discontinued)
    • P345
  • SR Series
  • LCP
  • Mark I / Standard (discontinued)
  • Mark II (discontinued)
  • Mark III
  • LC9
  • SR1911
  • SR22



Single Action

Double Action



Ruger have also been known to produce their own ammunition for use with their products. To do this Ruger have often teamed up with ammunition producer Hornady to construct some of the worlds most potent rounds, from the .204 Ruger to the .480 Ruger (at one stage the worlds largest calibre pistol cartridge).

USA Shooting Team[]

Sturm, Ruger & Co. have helped fund the USA shooting team, and supplying guns via TALO Distributors Inc.


Sturm, Ruger & Co. have received awards from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence for:

  • 1999 - Ruger .22 Magnum 10-22
  • 2002 - Ruger 77/17RM .17 HMR Rimfire
  • 2007 - Ruger M77 Hawkeye
  • 2011 - Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle (M77-GS)
  • Manufacturer of the Year:
  • Handgun of the Year
    • 1993 - Ruger Vaquero
    • 1997 - Ruger Bisley-Vaquero
    • 2001 - Ruger Super Redhawk
    • 2008 - Ruger LCP
    • 2009 - Ruger LCR
    • 2010 - Ruger SR9c
    • 2011 - Ruger LC9
  • Rifle of the Year
  • Shotgun of the Year
    • 1992 - Ruger Red Label Sporting Clays
    • 2002 - Ruger Gold Label Side-By-Side


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Sturm, Ruger & Co.

American firearm manufacturing company

"Ruger" redirects here. For other uses, see Ruger (disambiguation).

Sturm, Ruger.svg

Traded as

S&P 600 Component
Founded1949; 72 years ago (1949)
FoundersWilliam B. Ruger,
Alexander McCormick Sturm

Southport, Connecticut


United States

Area served


Key people

Ronald C. Whitaker (Chairman)[1]
Christopher J. Killoy (President and CEO)[2]
ProductsRevolvers, Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns
Revenue$664 million[3] (2016)

Operating income

139,100,000 United States dollar (2006) Edit this on Wikidata

Net income

$88 million[3] (2016)

Number of employees

2,120[3] (2016)

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., better known by the shortened name Ruger, is an American firearm manufacturing company based in Southport, Connecticut, with production facilities also in Newport, New Hampshire, Mayodan, North Carolina, and Prescott, Arizona. The company was founded in 1949 by Alexander McCormick Sturm and William B. Ruger, and it has been publicly traded since 1969.

Ruger produces bolt-action, semi-automatic, and single-shot rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, and single- and double-action revolvers.[4] According to the ATF statistics for 2015,[5] Ruger is currently America's largest firearm manufacturer,[6] as well as the second largest pistol and revolver manufacturer (behind Smith & Wesson) and rifle manufacturer (behind Remington) in the United States.


Ruger's MK II22/45 target pistol.

Sturm, Ruger & Company was founded by William B. Ruger and Alexander McCormick Sturm in 1949 in a small rented machine shop in Southport, Connecticut.

Just prior to their partnership, Bill Ruger had successfully duplicated two Japanese "baby" Nambu pistols in his garage, from a captured Nambu that he acquired from a returning Marine, at the close of World War II. When it came to designing their first semi-auto pistol, Ruger decided to incorporate the looks of the German 9mmLuger and the American Colt Woodsman into their first commercially produced .22 caliber pistol (see Ruger Standard), which became so successful that it launched the entire company.

Ruger is a dominant manufacturer in the .22 LRrimfirerifle market in the U.S., due primarily to the sales of its Ruger 10/22 semiautomatic rifle.[8] The 10/22 is very popular due to its reputation for being relatively inexpensive and of high quality.[9] As a result, a wealth of after-market accessories and parts were made available for it, which has further increased its popularity.[8] The availability and variety of after-market parts makes it possible to build a 10/22 using only these parts; most of which are marketed to target shooters and hunters.[citation needed]

Ruger similarly dominates the .22 rimfire semi-automatic pistol market with the Ruger MK II and Ruger MK III, descendants of the Ruger Standard pistol. Like the 10/22, the MkII is supported with a wide variety of after-market accessories. The 22/45 is similar to the Ruger Standard family of pistols but features a different grip angle, that of the Colt 1911 (as opposed to that of a Luger utilized in the Ruger Standard).[10]

Ruger is also renowned for the production of high quality revolvers, such as the GP100 and Redhawk lines. They also have some presence in the semi-auto pistol market, with the SR1911 and SR lines of handguns.

Ruger Casting has plants in Newport, New Hampshire and Prescott, Arizona, making ferrous, ductile iron and commercial titanium castings. Ruger Golf makes steel and titanium castings for golf clubs made by a number of different brands.[11]

Sturm, Ruger stock has been publicly traded since 1969, and became a New York Stock Exchange company in 1990 (NYSE:RGR). After Alex Sturm’s death in 1951, William B. Ruger continued to direct the company until his death in 2002.

From 1949 through 2004, Ruger manufactured over 20 million firearms. The company is headquartered in Southport, Connecticut, and maintains manufacturing facilities in Newport, New Hampshire, Prescott, Arizona, and Mayodan, North Carolina. Ruger's subsidiaries are Ruger Precision Metals LLC in Earth City, Missouri, Pine Tree Castings in Newport, New Hampshire, and Ruger Sportswear & Accessories in Mayodan, North Carolina.[12]

In September 2020, the company bought the Marlin Firearms company from bankrupt Remington Outdoor Company.[13]


Of the total 2,288 makers of civilian firearms operating in the United States from 1986 to 2010, Ruger led the industry with 15.3 million firearms produced within the period.[14] Ruger was ranked the number one U.S. firearms manufacturer from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, Ruger manufactured 1,114,687 firearms, as their promotion, the "Million Gun Challenge to Benefit the NRA", played a significant role in the company maintaining its top U.S. manufacturer status.[15] The company has set a new goal of 2 million firearms produced per year.[16] From 2009 to 2012, Ruger was the top-seller of handguns.[17]


Ruger breaks down its products into nine categories:[3]


Bolt-action rifles[edit]

Ruger M77 Mark II Stainless Bolt Action in .204

Autoloading rifles[edit]

Ruger 10/22 "Stainless" With an aftermarket Butler Creek Folding Stock and a TRUGLO Red Dot Sight

Lever-action rifles[edit]

  • Model 96 (96/44, 96/22 and 96/17 discontinued)

Single-shot rifles[edit]


Submachine guns[edit]


Centerfire pistols[edit]

Rimfire pistols[edit]

Double-action revolvers[edit]

The first variation of the Ruger LCR .38 Special with laser grips

Single-action revolvers[edit]

Stainless New Model Super Blackhawk and Redhawk

See also[edit]


  1. ^Ruger. "Board of Directors - Ruger". Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  2. ^Ruger. "Corporate Officers - Ruger". Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  3. ^ abcd"Corporate Report"(PDF). February 22, 2017.[dead link]
  4. ^"BATFE Annual Firearms Manufacturing And Export Report". 2006.
  5. ^BATFE Annual Firearms Manufacturing And Export Report 2015
  6. ^Duprey, Rich. "Can You Guess the Biggest Gunmaker in the U.S.?". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  7. ^ abHouse, James E. (July 6, 2006). Customize the Ruger 10/22. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media. pp. 6–12. ISBN .
  8. ^Garrison, Kerry (March 14, 2014). Getting to know the Ruger 10/22: Everything you need to know to shoot, clean, maintain, and modify your Ruger 10/22. Kerry Garrison. pp. 2–5. ISBN .
  9. ^Sweeney, Patrick (December 24, 2007). The Gun Digest Book of Ruger Pistols and Revolvers. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 18. ISBN .
  10. ^Ph.D., Gregg Lee Carter (May 4, 2012). Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law [3 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 930. ISBN .
  11. ^"Directory". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  12. ^"Remington Auctioned Off to Seven Bidders in Bankruptcy Court". September 28, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  13. ^"Guns At A Glance: 40% of All Firearms Made in America Come From These 3 Companies". The Blaze. March 26, 2013. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  14. ^"US Firearms Industry Today". Shooting Industry. 2013.
  15. ^"The Ruger 2 Million Gun Challenge". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  16. ^"US Firearms Industry Today". Shooting Industry. 2012.
  17. ^"Gallery of Guns - Shooting Times - Gun Reviews". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.


  • Wilson, R. L. (1996). Ruger & His Guns: A History of the Man, the Company and Their Firearms. ISBN .

External links[edit]

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