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University of Florida quarterback to drop ‘AR-15’ nickname

University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson announced on Sunday he would drop his “AR-15” nickname and apparel line that featured a scope reticle after recent mass shootings.

“While a nickname is only a nickname and ‘AR-15’ was simply a representation of my initials combined with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand are no longer associated with the assault rifle that has been used in mass shootings, which I do not condone in any way or form,” Richardson wrote on Twitter.

He added that he is working on a “rebranding” that will include a new logo and instead use “AR” and his full name to represent the football player.

The redshirt freshman passed for 529 yards in the past season, with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

AR-15-style rifles have been used in recent high-profile mass shootings, including those at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y.; and a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill.

Those shootings have reignited calls from Democrats for further gun control measures, with President Biden and others calling for an assault weapons ban.

The Uvalde and Buffalo massacres sparked negotiations that led to a gun safety package deal among a group of 20 senators from both parties. 

Biden signed the package — which includes funding for states to implement red flag laws, a closure of the so-called boyfriend loophole and a crackdown on straw purchases — into law last month.

Tags ar-15 gun violence Joe Biden

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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