Law enforcement agencies pulled more than 39,000 from crime scenes in 2012, firmly establishing this weapon — designed to be fired from the shoulder — in third place on the ATF's trace list. Pulling the trigger of a rifle fires one projectile at the intended target, as opposed to the shotgun's ability to spray. According to FBI latest publicly available homicide records, in 2012 rifles were used to murder more than 320 people.
Rifles were created to improve the accuracy of smoothbore muskets, for which the musket ball was often an bad fit due to manufacturing complications. Accurate and easy-to-aim, rifles are now the most common hunting weapon.