THE NA­TIONAL FIREARMS ACT OF 1934

American Survival Guide - - GEAR GUIDE -

This law didn’t just im­pose a tax on ma­chine guns; it also de­fined a num­ber of cat­e­gories of reg­u­lated firearms col­lec­tively known as “NFA firearms.” To­day, all se­ri­ous gun own­ers, not just col­lec­tors, should be at least aware of these:

Ma­chine guns—any firearm that can fire more than a sin­gle car­tridge per pull of the trig­ger.

Both con­tin­u­ous, fully au­to­matic fire and

“burst fire” (such as a three-round-burst) are con­sid­ered the pri­mary func­tion­al­ity in what de­ter­mines if a weapon is a ma­chine gun.

Short-bar­reled Ri­fles (SBRS)—ANY weapon that has a ri­fled bar­rel and butt­stock and has a bar­rel fewer than 16 inches long or has an over­all length that is fewer than 26 inches is con­sid­ered a short-bar­reled ri­fle. This in­cludes firearms that were man­u­fac­tured with a butt­stock that was re­moved, as well as weapons with fold­ing butt­stocks. In ad­di­tion, adding a fixed butt­stock to a pistol makes it an SBR.

Short-bar­reled Shot­gun—this is sim­i­lar to the SBR but in­cludes smooth-bore bar­rels that are fewer than 18 inches long or have a to­tal length of 26 inches. This would in­clude so-called “sawed-off shot­guns.”

Si­lencers—this in­cludes any por­ta­ble de­vice that can be af­fixed to a firearm and is de­signed to muf­fle or dis­guise the re­port (sound) of a firearm. It should be noted that this does not in­clude “non-por­ta­ble” de­vices, such as a sound trap that could be used by a gun­smith in a shop.

De­struc­tive De­vices—this in­cludes two broad classes. The first would in­clude such items as ex­plo­sive mu­ni­tions, bombs, poi­son gas weapons, hand grenades, land mines and any­thing that would be con­sid­ered a military-grade de­vice in­tended to kill or maim. The sec­ond class is any firearm with a bore over .50 inch. In essence, a .50-cal­iber weapon is the high­est-cal­iber weapon that can be owned by a civil­ian. How­ever, some shot­guns and shot­gun shells that are de­ter­mined to have “le­git­i­mate sport­ing uses” do not fall into the cat­e­gory of de­struc­tive de­vices.

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