Michigan build-your-own AR-15 class provokes backlash

Be still my beating heart

MARSHALL, Mich. — A Michigan gun store owner shrugged off criticism and went ahead with a class that teaches people how to build their own AR-15 semi-automatic rifles like those used in many mass shootings, including last month’s massacre at a Florida high school.

Chris Walden, who owns Walden’s Firearms in nearby Battle Creek and taught Tuesday’s class, said postponing it until there isn’t a mass shooting in the United States could mean it would never happen.

“There’s always significant things going on and if we tried to weave that between whatever tragedy and anything else, I’m not sure we’d ever find a good time,” Walden said. “Now’s as good a time as any.”

It drew a protest of about 30 people who oppose the further spread of guns and called the timing insulting.