The story of the Alabama nutcase that abducted the 5-year old is horrifying (although it ended well), but unfortunately for the gun-control movement, it didn’t have any relevance to their efforts to ban modern sporting rifles, since the man used a shotgun. But never mind that, the Associated Press will simply transmogrify that shotgun into an “assault rifle”. This can’t be an honest mistake, since they had the story right, and then changed it.
To add insult to injury, they didn’t even issue a correction when caught in the lie. Indeed, they didn’t even change the weapon back to a shotgun. Instead, they used the less-specific phrase “firearm”. Why not be specific, unless it’s to leave open the possibility that the reader might misunderstand the weapon as a modern sporting rifle?