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Old March 16, 2013, 06:39 PM   #19
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Join Date: June 7, 1999
Posts: 3,844
RB_Kandy wrote:
Are fully automatic weapons legal?
On the topic of assault rifles, someone is telling me that there are fully automatic assault rifles available to the general public (The AR-15 to be precise).

It is my understanding that the only assault rifles allowed to American civilians are semi-automatic only.

So could any of you experts weigh in on this?

I make no claim to being an ""expert"", however as others have noted, it depends on which state you are talking about. Some jurisdictions, as a matter of state law preclude ownership of machine guns and selective fire weapons to the private citizen, others do not. The "someone"" you reference is, to stay within the bounds of polite conversation, ill-informed. Your understanding is also incorrect, as with the following.

1. The AR-15 Rifle and it's several clones, made and sold under other brand names, is a semiautomatic rifle. The AR-15 is not a selective fire weapon.

2. The defining characteristic of the genre assault rifle is selective fire capability. Any firearm with such capability is regulated under The National Firearms Act of 1934, 80 year old federal law.

3. A semiautomatic rifle, by definition, is not an assault rifle.

4. Semiautomatic rifles have been around for more than 100 years, Winchester and Remington both offered them prior to World War 1, think 1908.

5. My advice, take it as you like, is to be very careful with terminology, for as has been noted elsewhere, he that poses the question controls the answer. Also, words once spoken are the masters, they are no longer the slaves.The anti gunners tend to play word games, making things up as they go along, aided and abetted by media. For instance, what is this "assault weapon" that we hear so much about. A claw hammer, a common carpenter's tool is handy to drive nails with. If I attack you with one, it is an "assault weapon", otherwise it's simply a hammer.

6. Interestingly, S 150, Dianne Feinstein's latest legislative flight of fancy does not address selective fire weapons, it addresses semiautomatic rifles that bear a cosmetic resemblance to assault rifles, which are military small arms, generally not available to the private citizen. See National Firearms Act of 1934, above mentioned, or check with any conveniently located Class 3 Dealer.

Last edited by alan; March 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM.
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