Automatic weapons in USA


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Bif
February 20, 2011, 08:50 AM
Hello everybody

Sorry for my english, i'm french, i've a research task about weapons in USA, first about automatic weapons, but I don't know the gun laws in this country, and i would like to know where the automatic weapons are totally unrestricted, where these weapons are registered, where we need an authorization (a permission) to buy one, and where these weapons are prohibited ?
Maybe a colored map of USA would be easier to understand for a stranger.
Thank you.

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ultradoc
February 20, 2011, 09:00 AM
Don't know much on this subject but I do know that they need to be registered and you need a license to own one. Twice a year folks from around America go to Knob Creek,Ky to shoot their full auto weapons. It's quite a site!!

kingpin008
February 20, 2011, 09:32 AM
Don't know much on this subject but I do know that they need to be registered and you need a license to own one.

Yes and no. Yes, there is a registry that lists all available full-auto weapons available for transfer in the US. However, there is no "license" necessary. What you need is a tax stamp - they two are not the same.

Carl N. Brown
February 20, 2011, 09:33 AM
LEGAL

1934 to 1986 new machine guns could be registered to civilian owners on an ATF Form 4 or made and registered on an ATF Form 1.

Starting 1986, only machineguns registered for civilian ownership by 19 May 1986 were eligible for transfer of registration to civilian ownership. No new manufacture allowed on Form 1.

Registration tax has been $200 since 1934 (the MSRP of a Thompson gun in 1934 or a 100% tax).

The 1934 National Firearms Act controls machineguns at the federal level. My home state defers to federal regulations. Some states have their own laws on machineguns. To my knowledge, most states allow the federal gov't to control machineguns, and if it is OK with the feds, it is OK with the state. A few states limit legal machine guns to the collector's items listed on the ATF Curio and Relic List.

I looked at buying a Reising Model 50 for $150.00 in 1985, but balked at the $200.00 registration tax. Since the 19 May 1986 freeze, legally registered Reisings go for $3,000.00. Machine gun collection has become a rich man's game and they have a vested interest in keeping the registry closed.

My cousin bought a legally registered machine gun. You locate a registered owner willing to transfer registration, you file a Form 4 with ATF including two passport quality photos, two FBI fingerprint cards, a CLEO (sign off by chief law enforcement officer: county sheriff, district attorney or police chief), pay a non-refundable $200.00 fee, and wait about four months. If eligible, you get a copy of the Form 4 with a really cool looking tax stamp attached and you complete the transfer.

Of the few hundred thousands of legally registered machineguns, there has been one murder, by a cop using a legally registered machinegun.

"Rifle" versions of machineguns have become popular substitutes among collectors: at least a 16" barrel and semi-automatic function only, with the design modified to not accept original internal parts.


ILLEGAL

In the 1980s illegal machine guns were sold on the back row of the Tazwell Virginia flea market. Traditionally, illegal machineguns come into the US with illegal drugs through Florida from the Middle East or France, through the southern border from Mexico with illegal drugs. Or through West Coast ports from Asia destined for Mexico as "sewing machine parts" leaking out of the containers as bribes, etc. on the way south. Some illegal machineguns are undeclared war trophies from military veterans, others are confiscated criminal weapons sold by corrupt cops. White supremacist groups establish their own underground weapons factories. Criminals sometimes do conversions of semi-automatic firearms to full-auto, but in order to do that right, one would have the tools and the skill to make Sten guns or Mac 10s from scratch.

There is little legal control over the illegal market. But the answer from politicians is always more restriction on the legal market.

docnyt
February 20, 2011, 09:35 AM
That's a broad but interesting research topic.

I would recommend starting with the Gun Control Act which has been influential as far as how firearms are handled here. Also google Assault Weapons Ban - again another turning point.

Then look into the BATFE which is the government body tasked with regulating firearms:

http://www.atf.gov

Bif
February 20, 2011, 09:39 AM
Well, you need to register your full automatic weapons and pay a tax at least in the most liberal states ? There are not a state where automatic weapons are totally free ?

docnyt
February 20, 2011, 09:45 AM
Paying the tax stamp is a federal requirement so all the individual states have to comply. There is not one state where you can just own one without paying the tax stamp if that is what you are asking.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 09:45 AM
The "assault weapons" are only full automatic weapons or all military weapons including the semi automatic versions ?

Bif
February 20, 2011, 09:49 AM
That is a very complex subject for me.
But i understand you must to pay a tax to buy an automatic weapons at least in every states because it's a federal law.
Well, which are the states where you just need to pay this tax to buy one, without registration or licence ? Maybe Alaska ?

Carl N. Brown
February 20, 2011, 09:52 AM
Even if the state does not regulate machineguns, the federal government does. Absence of state laws does not remove the necessity of complying with the federal machine gun regulations under the 1934 National Firearms Act, currently incorporated as Title II of the Gun Control Act (the 1968 Gun Control Act being Title I of the current Gun Control Act).

Federal law is the supreme law of the land; state laws cannot supercede federal law: federal law supercedes all state laws, a principle known as federal supremacy.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 10:00 AM
Ok, i see, the federal law consider a full automatic handgun as a machine gun ? What about the automatic pistols ? It's controled by the same laws than the automatic rifles and machine guns ?

Carl N. Brown
February 20, 2011, 10:07 AM
"Assault Weapon" is a political term that has lost any practical meaning. The New Jersey state Assault Weapons Ban labelled the Marlin Model 60 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlin_Model_60 ) an "assault weapon". The factory complied by shortening the magazine tube from 18 rounds to 14 rounds .

Generally, to most speakers an "assault weapon" is a semi-automatic replica of a military assault rifle or submachinegun. They are actually less likely to be used in street crime (as opposed to film noire melodramas) than other weapons. In my hometown we have had far more assaults with knives or ball bats than with "assault weapons".

The removal of the features banned during the 1994-2004 federal Assault Weapon Ban (bayonet lugs, pistol grips, folding stocks, etc) did not make the guns less deadly for criminal abuse, but did destroy their value as collectible representations of historic military firearms. That to me illustrates the purely symbolic nature of gun control.

Carl N. Brown
February 20, 2011, 10:19 AM
To the military or police, "automatic" implies full automatic or machine gun. Rat-a-tat-tat.

To civilians, "automatic" implies semi-automatic gun. Bang, bang, bang.

My AutoOrdnance .45 Automatic Pistol is technically semi-automatic only; since full automatic handguns are rare they are usually called machine pistols.

The word "automatic" is used for two different things depending on audience.

A true military assault rifle is select fire, capable of semi-automatic or full-automatic at user selection. The safety switch on the M16 is safe-single-full and on the AK47 is safe-full-single. My son's M4 carbine is semi-auto only unlike the M4 used by our friend Sgt. Jones in Afghanistan. My Kalashnikov is semi-automatic only in both the single and full positions on the selector lever. (The insurance at our rifle club will not allow the firing of full automatic weapons, even on semi-auto if select fire, even loading only one round in the magazine at a time.)

Bif
February 20, 2011, 11:26 AM
Ok ! i thought the federal assault weapons ban was only against full automatic weapons.
I would not to think that some semi automatic weapons would be prohibited in USA, it's incredible for me.
But the federal assault weapons ban is the same in all american states ? Or each state can decide which weapons is concerned by this law ?

gc70
February 20, 2011, 11:48 AM
There is no current federal assault weapons ban. The federal assault weapons ban of 1994 (AWB94) expired in 2004.

AWB94 never applied to fully-automatic weapons. AWB94 only applied to semi-automatic weapons because: AWB94 only applied to weapons made after September 13, 1994. No new fully-automatic weapons could be registered under the National Firearms Act after May 19, 1986.
Some states adopted state assault weapons bans similar to AWB94. Even though AWB94 expired at the national level, the state bans continue to exist.

medalguy
February 20, 2011, 11:48 AM
Assault weapon ban regulated semi-automatic military style rifles that were considered "bad" by some liberal politicians. There was no direct connection with machine guns. The ban expired and is of no consequence today except for a few states which made parts of the ban into state laws regulating things like magazine capacity and whether the firearm could have a flashhider or vertical grip or folding stock. This still has no connection with federal machine gun laws.

You asked about automatic pistols. Generally what we consider an automatic handgun is really a semiautomatic, such as the 1911 Colt pistol or Beretta 92 or Walther PP. The key is the government's definition of a machine gun: whether the weapon is capable of firing more than one shot with a single function of the trigger. In other words, pull the trigger and hold it back, and if the gun goes bang-bang-bang, then it's a machine gun. If it only fires one time and stops, it's a semi-automatic(or a revolver). This definition applies to pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

armoredman
February 20, 2011, 12:02 PM
We have the overarching federal statute to follow, then states may make laws more restrictive than the fed.gov ones. For instance, some states, as mentioned, will not allow citizens to posess fully automatic firearms even if the citizen is in full compliance with NFA'34 and GCA'68. Also some local Chief Law Enforcement officers do not like machineguns, and will use their authority to stop anyone in their county from gaining an NFA registered firearm.
My state, Arizona, says if you go through the federal maze, it's OK with us. Arizona also allows the carry of NFA firearms on the National Registry. :)
It is impoirtant to re state what was said above - firearms that fire more than once per trigger pull are the ones in question, not semi-auto look alikes.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 12:03 PM
Thanks of lot for these answers.
For example, excepted in the states which has a state assault weapons ban, is it possible to buy a military rifle like a semi automatic Colt M4 by an american citizen ?

Bif
February 20, 2011, 12:06 PM
Can i know which states prohibit the full automatic weapons currently ?

jerkface11
February 20, 2011, 12:27 PM
However, there is no "license" necessary. What you need is a tax stamp - they two are not the same.

Yeah you just have to go through a background check, give them your fingerprints, passport photos, pay them $200, and wait for them to approve it. Totally different from a license.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 12:33 PM
Is it for a full automatic weapons, right ? You don't need that for a semi automatic rifle ?
You must to pay the tax stamp every year, or only once with the purchase ?

kingpin008
February 20, 2011, 12:35 PM
Yeah you just have to go through a background check, give them your fingerprints, passport photos, pay them $200, and wait for them to approve it. Totally different from a license.

I agree, it might as well be a license - but for the sake of keeping things as clear as possible for a non-American who is completely unfamiliar with our gun laws and the terms connected to them, can we not play the "might as well be" game? It's pointless and counterproductive.

Bif - yes, it is a one-time Federal excise tax required for the purchase of a full-auto weapon, as well as certain other NFA (National Firearms Act) items such as suppressors. You do not need it for a semi-automatic weapon.

sv51macross
February 20, 2011, 12:43 PM
Is it for a full automatic weapons, right ? You don't need that for a semi automatic rifle ?
You must to pay the tax stamp every year, or only once with the purchase ?


The tax is just on transfer, once it's paid you do not need to pay it again as long as you possess the firearm.

And in answer to your earlier post, yes. Except residents of states that retain an assault-weapons-ban of some kind, one may walk into a gun store and walk-out the same day with a semi-auto 'M4' (Colt model# 6920), though a semi-auto M16/M4 rifle is called a AR-15. There are many, many manufacturers of semi-auto AR-15s, and the community around replica Kalashnikovs is quite amazing.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 12:59 PM
Do you need to practise hunt or the shooting sport to purchase an AR15 or every american citizens can buy one ? (Of course, excepted in restrictive states).

sv51macross
February 20, 2011, 01:05 PM
No, there is no special requirement or need to show 'proof of use' to own a AR-15. Go to the gun-shop, pass the background check, pay money, and walk-out with the rifle. Some states, particularly NY and NJ require that one be licensed to own and show proof of need/use for handguns, but to buy rifles, no prerequisites.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 01:23 PM
The right to buy a weapon is reserved only to american citizens ? A resident (green card) can buy one ? An illgale person too ? (for the last one, i don't think if there is a pass the background check).

suemarkp
February 20, 2011, 01:27 PM
Most states don't restrict fully automatic firearms more than the federal controls. However, my state (Washington State, not Washington DC), does not allow fully automatic firearms at all.

Washington also has some other strange rules. We can own silencers (similarly restricted at the federal level like machine guns), but we can not attach them to a firearm...

You can ago to this site to see the state restrictions for National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms.
http://www.precisionweapons.com/cartgenie/pg_StateNfaRestrictions.asp

According to that map, there are only 7 states that prohibit machine gun ownership.

Geckgo
February 20, 2011, 01:30 PM
No, if you have a felony conviction or a are in the country illegally, you cannot buy/posess/use any firearm. If you are here legally, but from at country that we are at war with, you also may not posses one unless you are a bonafide citizen of the US.

At least, that's how I understand it.

I wanted to add on that in Illinois, you must posses a Firearms Owner ID to purchase a firearm of any type. You can buy an air powered pellet/bb gun, but not a firearm. Other states may have a similar requirement, but not many.

The background check is supposed to verify this information, and sometimes it takes longer. For me it usually takes 20 minutes, but sometimes there is a wait for a response from the FBI, up to 3 days from what I've been told by others who had to wait.

Bif
February 20, 2011, 01:47 PM
What is it exactly the NFA ? Full automatic weapons, collective weapons ?

geekWithA.45
February 20, 2011, 02:03 PM
Bif:

From reading your responses, you're missing some key concepts which I will try to help out with, in short format.

Automatic: fires more than 1 shot per trigger pull
Semi-Automatic: fires ONE shot per trigger pull


Federal Law: As pertains to firearms, defines taxes & background checks for fully automatic weapons, short barrel long guns, explosives. Defines who is prohibited from owning armaments. Defines a system of licenses for the interstate commerce and manufacture of firearms. Defines a minimal background check against the list of prohibited persons for anyone buying from an FFL. (Federal Firearms Licensee, which is needed by anyone in the business of making, repairing, or selling guns.) Prohibits sale of firearms through the mail, prohibits individual sale across state lines, prohibits individual sale of handguns to residents of another state.

Prohibited Person, Federal Law: Person who has lost the right to posses firearms of any sort through conviction of serious crimes, currently defined as punishable by more than a year in prison, or by conviction of family assault.


Assault Weapon, Expired and Defunct Federal Definition: A semiautomatic firearm identified either by specific model number, or by possessing more than two of certain "evil" features such as flash hiders, collapsing stocks, bayonet mounts, etc


In addition to Federal laws, one must also adhere to State laws, which are all over the map. So, for any individual, they have to deal with Federal law PLUS State law.


Assault Weapon, State Definition: About 6 or 8 states regulate or prohibit "assault weapons", which they define differently. The expired Federal definition was modeled on NJ's state laws, other states such as CA defined them differently.

Broad categories of state laws:

Gun Friendly:

Most states are pretty gun friendly. They place no or few additional restrictions on purchase or possession of long guns or handguns. In most of these states, you can openly carry a handgun without a license, and you can generally obtain a license to carry concealed if you meet certain objective requirements.


Gun Hostile:

About 8 states are very hostile to guns and their owners, placing many additional restrictions on the sorts of guns that can be owned, and various licensing schemes on their owners. It ranges from difficult to impossible to legally carry a handgun for personal defense in those states. The states that no one will argue belong in this category are NY, NJ, MA, IL, CA, DC, and possibly MD.


Mixed States:

Some states are a mix. They tend not to regulate long guns, but put a lot of license and permit requirements on buying and carrying handguns. These states tend to be Southern, as the roots of gun control in the US are fundamentally racist, and although the structures have been weakened and largely de-racified, remnants exist.



================

Fully automatic weapons, the bottom line:

In America, they are finite in number, highly regulated, very expensive, and relatively rare.

Bubbles
February 20, 2011, 02:05 PM
NFA = National Firearms Act of 1934

I was about to type out a very long reply and then realized that Mr. James Bardwell's FAQ on NFA Weapons should answer all of your questions. Mr. Bardwell is an attorney who specializes in federal firearms laws.

http://www.titleii.com/bardwell/nfa_faqhtml.html

geekWithA.45
February 20, 2011, 02:08 PM
What is it exactly the NFA

That is the National Firearms Act of 1934.

It defined a tax a tax and regulation scheme for various classes of armaments, notably fully automatic, and short weapons made from long guns.

Originally, the act was going to include handguns as taxed and highly regulated, but this was ultimately rejected.

A lot of that law was concerned with preventing people from making handguns out of long guns, which is why there is all the concern with short barreled shotguns and rifles.

It also deals with explody type armaments, such as bazookas and hand grenades.

kingpin008
February 20, 2011, 02:14 PM
Bif - The National Firearms Act was enacted in 1934, and created a new class of regulated firearms and certain firearm-related items.

Before 1934, anyone could go into a store and buy a fully-automatic firearm, suppressor, or the like. The NFA changed things by requiring a $200 tax stamp before purchasing said guns and acessories, in effect banning them because the vast majority of the population could never afford to pay such a high price.

If I recall correctly, the act was created in response to organized crime - the gangsters were outgunning the police, and the act was meant to help curb the access gangsters had to the weapons. Of course, this didn't work, because gangsters don't obey laws.

Anyway - that's it in a nutshell. NFA laws restrict 9but do not prohibit) the posession of full-auto guns, suppressors, destructive devices, and short-barreled shotguns and rifles.

Now, in 1986 things changed again. Up until then, you could buy full-auto weapons at pretty much any gun shop, provided you paid the tax and were legally allowed to buy/own them in your state. But in 1986 a new law was passed that ended the importation or manufacture of any new full-auto weapons in the U.S., except for the military and certain civilian law enforcement groups and specially licensed dealers. This meant that the only full-auto weapons available from then on out were the ones already in the country, and of course, this caused the prices of said guns to rise astronomically. It's been that way ever since.

Suppressors and other NFA items weren't affected by this - you can still make suppressors and short barreled shotguns and rifles, but there is a process you must go through that involves paying Federal taxes and passing background checks.

Sorry if this is hard to explain, but it's pretty much the best way to explain laws that are at their core confusing and counterintuitive. Hope it helped!

*EDIT* Man, looks like I got beat to the punch a few times! That'll teach me to type out a detailed explanation of Federal firearms law! ;)

geekWithA.45
February 20, 2011, 02:19 PM
If I recall correctly, the act was created in response to organized crime

No, kingpin, that was the figleaf/public excuse.

What it was really about was the Veterans Bonus March that happened a very few years prior. It was violently put down, and scared the daylights out of Congress. More than a few vets had brought back belt fed war trophies and put them in their attics, and they knew it. None of the vets brought guns to the Bonus March, but after the tanks rolled through their camp, they weren't gonna wait for a rematch.

kingpin008
February 20, 2011, 02:30 PM
Geek - good to know. Gracias.

Tomcat47
February 20, 2011, 02:38 PM
Good Thread.....

However watch this link....

(http://www.titleii.com/bardwell/nfa_faqhtml.html)

VIRUS! Trojan Blocked by my software! too bad I wanted to read it.

Googled James Bardwell and found info on different site with link and SAME results....Trojan Horse :cuss:

One-Time
February 20, 2011, 02:46 PM
and for a Machine Gun to be owned by a private citizen, it has to have been made before the date the registry was closed in 1986, so any machine guns not owned by a manufacturer will be at least 25 years old +

Bif
February 20, 2011, 03:08 PM
Thanks a lot, now i understand better the weapon laws in USA.
You have a lot of chance to live in this country ! In my country, we must undergo the socialist politicians and their laws.

Bubbles
February 20, 2011, 04:41 PM
Huh - my virus checker didn't twitch when I went to TitleII.com. Which browser are you running? I use Firefox.

medalguy
February 20, 2011, 04:44 PM
Bif, I'm sure glad you understand our gun laws here. Now maybe you can come over and explain them to us, 'cause I guarantee most of us don't understand our very bewildering array of gun laws, nor understand what a lot of them mean, nor why they were implemented in the first place. :cuss::cuss::cuss:

Bif
February 20, 2011, 05:00 PM
I understand american gun laws in generality, but i'm sure the laws are more specifical and complex in each state. Someone who know perfectly all laws in all states would be a genius ! :D

geekWithA.45
February 20, 2011, 05:36 PM
A very truncated timeline of Federal laws pertaining to Firearms:

1934: National Firearms Act. Taxed/regulated automatic arms, grenades, short barrels, silencers, etc

1968 Gun Control Act: Established FFL system, prohibited mail order, required accounting for ammunition, put interstate restrictions on firearms sales, plus a bunch of other fairly outrageous things that stayed in effect until

1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act: This stripped out the most egregious elements of the '68 act, put in protection for people traveling interstate, and at the last minute, closed the NFA machine gun registry. Consequently, the M16 that cost the .gov $250 in 1966 now sells for $17,000, even though it's worn out.

1993: Brady Act: Instituted federal background checks and waiting periods. Waiting periods eventually eliminated in favor of computerized instant check system.

1994: Assault Weapons Ban: Prohibited manufacture or sale of firearms with certain frightening characteristics. The law automatically expired in 2004 thanks to 10 year sunset provision.

1997: Lautenberg Amendment: Expanded definition of prohibited person to include misdemeanors of domestic violence.

2004: AWB expires.

2005: Tort reform for firearms manufacturers passes. Prior to this, people, assisted by anti gun groups would attempt to sue gun manufacturers for liability due to their weapons operating as intended, and for advertising to poor people.

ArthurDent
February 21, 2011, 12:21 PM
Bif,

I understand that the culture in France is VERY different than here in the USA. My Girlfriend grew up in France, and her attitudes are very French. We both find it difficult to understand each other because of this difference. We went to France together last summer, and I was surprised and pleased to see the local police armed with Sig-Sauer pistols, and the armed guards around the Eiffel Tower carrying military rifles.

Everyone else has done a good job of explaining the gun laws here in the U.S. Let me talk a little about the reality of gun ownership.

Location:

The reality depends greatly on where you are. In city areas, guns are not as popular with the good folks, and because of the large amount of criminal activity, guns are generally viewed as "bad." In a more suburban areas, guns are more popular, and many people go hunting and target shooting. There are hunting clubs with their own land, but there are also public lands set aside to help preserve wilderness, where hunting is allowed. In rural and farming areas, guns are viewed as tools, and are as common as cars or any other farm equipment.

These attitudes also vary widely, depending on the part of the U.S. that you are in. You can look at http://www.handgunlaw.us/ for much more information, and to get a feel for the attitudes and laws in different parts of our country.

Purchasing:

In most places, gun shops are not rare. The gun dealers have to be licensed by our Federal government, and every time you buy a gun you must fill out a form certifying many things, including that you are not a criminal. Your information on this form is called into a national database, and if you are approved, you get to buy the gun. This is not supposed to be "registration," but the records must be retained by the store forever. Some individual states add a lot of other requirements such as personal registration, individual gun registration, and a waiting period in which you have to wait a week or more to get the guns you have bought. I am fortunate to live in the state of Alabama, which has none of these extra restrictions.

I should also let you know that in the U.S., gun shops are not dark or scary places. Most are very much oriented towards sporting uses, and it is quite common to see whole families enjoying time there.

In most states, it is legal to buy a gun from another person, just as you would buy a car or other item, as long as the other person also lives in your state. No government paperwork is required, although many politicians are working hard to prevent these "private sales."

There are restrictions on which people are allowed to own any guns. You are forbidden to own guns if you are a criminal, or have been a criminal in the past, or if you have been judged insane, or in many other circumstances.

None of these laws prevent criminals from getting firearms at all. I have been repeatedly told that if you are a criminal that it is quite easy to get a gun illegally.

Carrying:

We do not normally carry guns visibly strapped to our hips. To carry a gun openly would almost certainly bring the police unless you are far out in the country. (There are many folks who are quite extreme who want to make open carry a common practice. You may find many of your questions answered by looking at the website http://www.opencarry.org/, and checking the maps section)

We do have "concealed carry" permits. (See http://www.handgunlaw.us/, as mentioned above.) In my state, it is a serious crime to carry a gun in a hidden way. It is even a crime to have a loaded gun in the car with you. These crimes will remove your right to ever own guns again. However, if you get a permit from the local law enforcement, you are allowed to do these things freely. You must be investigated to get these permits, and in some states you must pass courses on firearms usage. I have such a permit. There are many places where it is never legal to have a gun (government buildings, hospitals, etc.). However, when I am not in one of those places, I almost always have a hidden gun with me to defend myself in case I am attacked and my life is threatened. Unfortunately, my city has a lot of violent crime.

Carrying a gun legally does NOT make you a more violent and aggressive person. If anything, it tends to make you more calm and polite, and it makes you want to avoid trouble and walk away from a fight. It makes you work hard to avoid ever needing your gun.

Types of Guns:

As others have said, most U.S. citizens are allowed to own handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Guns commonly owned include those that require manipulation to load another bullet, and semi-automatic guns, which produce one shot for each trigger pull. However, full automatic guns are machine guns, and are extremely rare.

The guns that are for sale can be made to look like any military rifle. The term "assault rifle" is mostly meaningless, because it is not well defined, and because different definitions exist. Many guns that look like a military rifle are used by civilians for fun at the range, and for hunting. These are NOT the same as the proper military rifles, because they are only semi-automatic, NOT full automatic. In most states, these "evil-looking" rifles are now as freely available as any hunting rifle. Lots of people own them.

What is amusing to those of us who know something about guns is that "assault rifles" are far from the most dangerous guns available. Most common hunting rifles that look very traditional are many times more powerful than the common "assault rifles" that politicians and anti-gun folks are so upset about. It makes many of us think that these activists are not too smart, because they are outraged about appearances, and ignore the substantial truths.


So yes, guns are quite common in the U.S., but mostly we are NOT the crazy gun-slingers that the rest of the world seems to think we are. The "wild west" does not exist any more. Those of us who own guns legally are mostly responsible and very careful. We take great joy in exercising our right to own guns, a right which seems to be greatly restricted or denied in most of the world. We take great pride in our responsible ownership and our safety records.

That is a lot more than I had intended to write, but I hope that all of this information helps you, and anyone else who has cared to read it.

docnyt
February 21, 2011, 12:32 PM
Bif,

To answer one of your questions, a permanent resident or greencard holder is legally able to purchase and own firearms. However if one is buying from a dealer and not a private owner, a permanent resident is required to produce proof of 90 days residency in the state where the firearm is being bought. All other rules pertienent to citizens apply as well, including the NICS background check, filling out the same form, etc.

Some states may have more stringent requorements for concealed carry for permanent residents but in general it is allowed.

Bif
February 21, 2011, 01:12 PM
I learn many things here. It's a good thing because USA is view in France by the weapons owners as the paradise and we always take this country for an example. Also, a lot of anti-guns are considering the USA as a bad place and they are always talking about the number of killed by weapons. I would like to answer to these attacks, i must to know the american gun laws, because it's very irritating to hearing the stupid personns talking about a country they don't know, only because they saw "bowling for columbine".

docnyt
February 21, 2011, 01:18 PM
Your countrymen share many of the misconceptions with the American people in general.

kingpin008
February 21, 2011, 01:30 PM
Bif - I'm glad you're interested in finding the truth of the matter, and doing what you can to combat some of the anti-gun hysteria. Just out of curiosity, are you doing this research for a school assignment? If so, what kind of class?

Bif
February 21, 2011, 02:44 PM
I think you will always find some poeple which has stereotypes towards americans, in all countries, not only in France.

It's not a school work, it's a personal research. I've many weapons, and each day, i'm attacked for that. I can't any more to see poeple listening some of our liberal politicians which are always talking about the USA "there are many criminality because of guns, there are 50,000 killed each year because of guns, we must to prohibit guns in our country !"
They just don't know what they are talking about. When you know exactly the situation, it's easy to answer. To defend the guns owners in France, it's a necessity to knowing the guns laws in the other countries, especially the "guns countries" like USA or Switzerland.

RevolvingGarbage
February 21, 2011, 02:54 PM
In addition, in most states you can also exchange firearms freely in a private sale with no registration, licensing, or forms at all.

mstrat
February 21, 2011, 03:03 PM
Also, a lot of anti-guns are considering the USA as a bad place and they are always talking about the number of killed by weapons.

I live in Chicago, with among the most restrictive gun laws in the country:
* No carrying firearms, open or concealed; it's completely outlawed.
* Handguns have been banned up until this last summer, but even now the restrictions are so severe and so problematic that in a city of 100,000 FOID card holders, only about 1000 have registered a handgun.
* Most common semi-automatic rifles are completely banned by the county.

The mayor has basically done everything he can to keep people from owning guns.

But what we've seen here is that only the good, law-abiding citizens obey these laws. We still have among the highest rate of violence in the country.

In other words, bad people will be bad. Strict firearms restrictions don't stop them. Similarly, lax firearm restrictions elsewhere in the country do not cause additional violence.

armoredman
February 21, 2011, 10:38 PM
Bif, the number one thing to explain the GUN doesn't commit the crime, ever.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/posterproject1-1.jpg

ArthurDent
February 22, 2011, 09:03 AM
HERE is the heart of the problem:... our liberal politicians (...say...) "there are many criminality because of guns,..."
The problem is what people DO, NOT the things that they have.

If you give a good and moral person a weapon, no one will get hurt. Even if you take away all weapons from a criminal, he will find some other way to hurt and kill people and be just as violent, and just be as much of a threat to good people.

For some reason, we seem to be suffering from an epidemic of what I can only call moral stupidity: large numbers of people cannot seem to distinguish between those who are trying to do good and those who set out to do evil.

There is absolutely no "moral equivalency" between a thug who attacks and kills a helpless old woman on the streets, and an innocent man who saves himself and his family from death by killing an attacker. Both acts involve the taking of a human life, but in the first case the act is purely evil. The second case is a horrible act of violence, but any moral person should (I think) view it as a necessary and justifiable act.

I do not know why this is such a hard concept to grasp, but unfortunately it seems that many, including almost all of the media and a large number of lawmakers do not seem to be able to tell the difference.

Since this is in the "legal" forum, I'll add a saying that seems to describe the sad truth: "The law can confound common sense, but common sense cannot confound the law."

Bif, I wish you the best of luck in trying to persuade your countrymen.

Carl N. Brown
February 23, 2011, 01:21 PM
I suspect that you will find the regions of the United States to be as diverse as the countries of the EU.

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