legal definition is hugely important. The other side created a vague term "assault weapon", and deliberately uses it liberally, and interchangably with assault rifle to promote confusion. And on top of that, the other side isn't even sticking to their own definition of assault weapon.
We define assault rifle as select fire, detatchable magazine, intermediate cartridge. Everything else does not define an assault rifle. But in law, it can, and does define an assault weapon
Remember that in US law, there is no defintion for assault rifle. Assault rifles are machine guns, and all of their other features are of no consideration. Having a bayonet, or not makes NO difference as to if a rifle is an assault rifle. But it might be the deciding factor as to if the rifle is, or is not an assault weapon, as the term in defined, in law. (forget about how the media is defining the term, that changes everything they think they see an advantage to using a new term, or including something new in the current usage term. And forget about using google, wiki, or some other modern "dictionary" for a proper defintion. You won't find it. What you will find is the definition "in popular use", which can, and ofen is wrong.)
Is an M1 carbine an assault rifle? If not, what about an M2? True, it has no pistol grip in the current sense of the term but it is select fire. Is a .30 carbine cartridge an intermediate cartridge? Or does it fall beneath some defined floor?
Using our definition of assault rifle, no the M1 carbing is not an assault rifle (not select fire). The M2 is an assault rifle, because it is select fire, and uses a round more powerful than the standard WWII pistol rounds (although the .30 carbine round is on the low end of the range, being only slightly more powerful than the standard pistol rounds of the era)
The presence or absence of a pistol grip, bayonet lug, etc., makes no difference in defining assault rifle
. The M1 carbine, with no pistol grip, but with a bayonet lug was not an assault weapon under the 94AWB (which required 2 or more features from the "ban" list. The M1 paratrooper carbine, with its folding stock, pistol grip and bayonet lug did meet the requirements, and was an assault weapon
under the law. The new New York law makes the original M1 carbine an assault weapon
(only one feature from the ban list is required). Plus the New York law makes the mags illegal, all by themselves.
Then there's the Browning Automatic Rifle, which has everything but black plastic (neither did .30 carbines)--except the intermediate cartridge. Oh, and no pistol grip, either. It loses on points but because of the full power cartridge, you might call it an assaut and battery rifle.
The BAR is almost in a class by itself. Neither fish nor fowl, but not good red meat, either, so to speak. It is an automatic rifle. NOT an assault rifle, because it fires a full power cartridge (.30-06). again, black plastic and pistol grips have nothing to do with it. They only count when you are talking about assault weapons (which are semi auto only), and the BAR misses on that count as well. GI BARs are either select fire (some models) or full auto only (most models).
Some people use the term "battle rifle" for arms that are select fire, but fire full power rounds. The M14, the G3, and the FAL are examples of this.
Other people use "battle rifle" to include ALL military rifles firing full power rounds, bolt action, semi auto, and select fire.
Well, what about sub-machine guns. Might they be called sub-assault rifles? They pretty much have everything except the full-intermediate cartridge. Some even take bayonets but surprisingly few have black plastic stocks.
Sub machine guns are not "sub assault rifles". Again, by the definition of select fire AND intermediate power cartridge. Submachineguns fire standard pistol ammo, NOT an intermediate power round. Also disqualified are all those models which are not selective fire. If it is full auto only, it cannot be an assault rifle. It must be something else.
Finally, what about the current army version of the old, old, old M-16 (it's been used for well over 40 years)? Yes, it's select fire, sort of, only it isn't what you would call full-auto. Where does burst fire fit into this equation? We may have to rethink this whole business.
That decision has already been made, thanks to the US govt. Burst fire IS full auto fire. Therefore, legally a machinegun. Think of burst fire as full auto "lite". IT is full auto, just not continous full auto fire.
Black stocks, pistol grips, folding stocks, thumbhole stocks, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, etc., do NOT figure in the definition of assault rifle
. They do play a part in the definition of a semi auto as an assault weapon
, under current laws.
The media and all the talking heads play fast and loose with the terms, purposely so, to create an specific impression, and an attitude. Look at what they put in law (or try to), THAT is what really matters.
We don't do ourselves any good confusing the terms and mixing them together, that's what the other side wants us to do.