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Sat Oct 7, 2017, 03:32 AM

A different way of defining what an assault weapon is

Last edited Tue Oct 10, 2017, 07:57 PM - Edit history (2)

Any semi-automatic weapon that fires a rimless, semi-rimmed, or rebated rim center-fire cartridge that has a bullet of less then 6.5mm in diameter or a metal based case length of less then 50.8mm or caseless ammunition of any dimension or any rimless, semi-rimmed or rebated Polymer-cased center-fire cartridge of any dimension.

The appearance of the gun has nothing to do with the above definition. The gun could look like a hunting rifle or it could look like something out of a Hollywood war movie. The gun could have a bayonet lug, grenade launcher, flash suppressor, pistol grip or folding stock and it might not be an assault weapon as defined by above. Or it could. It all depends on the action of the gun and the cartridge it fires.

Such a definition keeps things simple. All one has to do is first determine if the gun is a semi-automatic, see if the cartridge it is loaded with is a center-fire round and then measure the cartridge. No fuss. No muss.

If one has an issue with including semi-automatic handguns in the above, then one could refine it further by saying an assault weapon is a semi-automatic firearm that has a barrel length of 16" or longer and fires a rimless, semi-rimmed, or rebated rim center-fire cartridge that has a bullet of less then 6.5mm in diameter or a case length of less then 50.8mm.

A semi-automatic, or self-loading, firearm is a weapon that performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine. By pulling the trigger and firing, the gun uses the energy of the fired cartridge to cycle the action of the firearm to eject the spent case and advance the next available cartridge into position which allows another shot to be fired when the trigger is pulled again.

A center-fire cartridge is a cartridge with a primer located in the center of the cartridge case head.

"The rimmed cartridge is the oldest of the types and has a rim that is significantly larger in diameter than the base of the cartridge. "

"On a rimless case, the rim is the same diameter as the base of the case; it is known as an extractor groove."

"On a semi-rimmed case the rim projects slightly beyond the base of the case, though not as much as a rimmed cartridge."

"Rebated rim cartridges have a rim that is significantly smaller in diameter than the base of the case, serving only for extraction."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rim_%28firearms%29

Rimmed cartridges do not have an extractor groove.

According to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI), a cartridge is "a single round of ammunition consisting of the case, primer and propellant with or without one or more projectiles." Only the projectile portion is the bullet.

The case length of a 7.62x39mm cartridge is about 38.7mm




Polymer-cased ammunition (or PCA) is the concept applied to define the alternative to use polymer-based casings instead of metal-based (brass, aluminum or steel mainly) in the manufacturing of ammunition.

Caseless ammunition is a type of small arms ammunition that eliminates the cartridge case that typically holds the primer, propellant, and projectile together as a unit.


Steps to determine if a firearm is an assault weapon

1. If the firearm is a semi-automatic, proceed to step 2.

2. If the barrel of the firearm is 16" or longer, proceed to step 3.

3. Examine the ammunition the firearm is designed to fire or is currently loaded with or has been modified to fire. Proceed to step 4 if any of the following conditions are met:

a. The ammunition is a center fire rimless, semi-rimmed or rebated rim cartridge with a bullet diameter of less then 6.5mm

or

b. The center fire cartridge case is less then then 50.8mm long

or

c. the ammunition is a caseless cartridge of any dimension

or

d. the cartridge is a Polymer-cased ammunition of any dimension

4. The gun in question is an assault weapon.

Note: I first posted this back in 2012

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Reply A different way of defining what an assault weapon is (Original post)
Kaleva Oct 2017 OP
msongs Oct 2017 #1
Straw Man Oct 2017 #5
Alea Oct 2017 #6
Straw Man Oct 2017 #7
ileus Oct 2017 #2
Name removed Oct 2017 #3
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #4
aikoaiko Oct 2017 #8
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #9
Always Right Oct 2017 #11
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #12
Always Right Oct 2017 #14
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #15
Always Right Oct 2017 #20
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #21
Always Right Oct 2017 #22
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #23
Always Right Oct 2017 #24
Adrahil Nov 2017 #45
oneshooter Nov 2017 #47
oneshooter Nov 2017 #48
Always Right Oct 2017 #10
Kaleva Oct 2017 #13
yagotme Oct 2017 #16
Kaleva Oct 2017 #17
yagotme Oct 2017 #29
Kaleva Oct 2017 #18
Always Right Oct 2017 #19
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #25
Kaleva Oct 2017 #26
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #27
Kaleva Oct 2017 #28
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #30
Kaleva Oct 2017 #31
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #33
Kaleva Oct 2017 #34
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #35
Kaleva Oct 2017 #36
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #37
Kaleva Oct 2017 #38
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2017 #39
Kaleva Oct 2017 #40
The Mouth Oct 2017 #32
ManiacJoe Nov 2017 #41
Kaleva Nov 2017 #42
ManiacJoe Nov 2017 #46
flamin lib Nov 2017 #43
friendly_iconoclast Nov 2017 #44

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Oct 7, 2017, 03:45 AM

1. any loaded gun aimed at another human being is an assault weapon nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 7, 2017, 10:18 PM

5. Correct.

Last edited Sun Oct 8, 2017, 01:21 AM - Edit history (1)

any loaded gun aimed at another human being is an assault weapon nt

Exactly. An "assault weapon" is a weapon used in the commission of an assault. No assault? No "assault weapon." Works for me.

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Response to Straw Man (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 8, 2017, 12:31 AM

6. You win the internet

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Response to Alea (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 8, 2017, 01:25 AM

7. Thank you.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Oct 7, 2017, 07:42 AM

2. This could be any of my counter assault weapons.

No thanks.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)


Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Oct 7, 2017, 08:49 PM

4. Simpler: Any semiauto centerfire rifle or brace-equipped-pistol capable of accepting detachable mags

 

Any semi-automatic centerfire rifle or brace-equipped-pistol capable of accepting detachable magazines or belted ammunition.

No muss... no fuss. That definition covers pretty much any rifle of significant caliber that can go on rampages and quickly dump hundreds of rounds in mere minutes.

It doesn't rely on cosmetic features or the specific name of the guns for the ban - both of which are easily circumvented by gun manufacturers.

It does not infringe on the right to keep effective tactical rifles for reasonable self defense. Your self defense gun can have as many rounds as you or the manufacturer deems reasonable & reliable so long as the magazine is internal to the gun or the box magazine is permanently affixed to the firearm.

It doesn't impact the ability to use common sporting rifles or even tactical style rifles for hunting & sporting purposes. Again, your gun can have as many rounds as you or the manufacturer deems reasonable & reliable so long as the magazine is internal to the gun or the box magazine is permanently affixed to the firearm.

Plinker rimfire guns, typically of diminutive caliber, are obviously not a mass shooting concern and are excluded from the definition.

Most non-rifle based handguns are inherently exempted from the definition, too. In recent years, "pistol arm braces" have been used on rifles to skirt the ATF NFA regulations on short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns (which are both as tightly regulated as machine guns). So this makes sure to close the loophole of pistols that are effectively identical in lethality to the rifles they're based upon.


Now that we have an effective definition for "Assault Weapon" what do we do with it?

We add them to the NFA list of controlled items in the NFRTR under a new category, "Assault Weapon". They will be legislated identically to machine guns, silencers, destructive devices, and short rifles/shotguns. Fingerprints, photos, $200 excise tax, and thurough background check. This avoids the problems of a ban and the subsequent necessity to confiscate and reimburse owners of assault weapons. It also avoids the constitutional issues of "banning" common use firearms relevant to militia use... they're not banned at all.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 8, 2017, 09:23 PM

8. Does this mean AR and AK pistols without braces would not be AWs?


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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 01:07 AM

9. I suppose. Can't win 'em all. nt

 

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:34 PM

11. What about...

 

How would you handle a short barreled rifle that is already in the NFA list? Would that also need to be registered again as an AW if it meets your defination?

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Response to Always Right (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 02:04 PM

12. Same way Machine Guns can be Short barreled rifles without dual registration.

 

Machine guns can have <16" barrels without a second SBR stamp... but SBRs cannot be machine guns. Basically Machinegun trumps being anything else.

I suppose SBRs, SBSs, and AOWs will be allowed to be Assault Weapons, by default... but Assault Weapons will not be allowed to be to be any of those.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 02:24 PM

14. So a SBR can have a bump stock?

 

While that would get more guns into the NFA registry, wouldn't that also encourage the addition of a bump stock on SBR's?

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Response to Always Right (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 03:06 PM

15. LOL, I don't think bump stocks are going to be around much longer.

 

Even if they're not banned by congress or unilaterally ruled to be conversion devices by the ATF, it's not like they're new on the block either. They've been around for awhile and there's a reason they're not more popular. They're ugly, goofy, and generally pretty shitty.
Owning things like arm braces and bump stocks is lame in general... let the neck-beards have them.

Every time someone with a registered machineguns or SBRs meets brace and bumpski owners:

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 01:36 PM

20. Over inclusive and under inclusive at the same time

 

Any semi-automatic centerfire rifle or brace-equipped-pistol capable of accepting detachable magazines or belted ammunition.


The problem with that definition is that nearly every semi-auto rifle, including the type most commonly used for hunting, meet that definition. The flaw there is the word "capable" as it is very vague. Semi-auto guns need to feed from somewhere and unless the ammunition holding area is machined as part of the receiver from a large block of metal (which is not very efficient and real expensive), then they have a magazine. These magazines are manufactured separately and then assembled later. These magazines can be detached for cleaning and repair (such as replacing the spring, which is what generally what wears out. If the magazines don't detach, then it is an engineering challenge to be able to remove the spring and follower from the top as the top needs to be small enough to hold the ammo in (as well as hold the follower and spring in when the ammo is gone).

The only semi-automatic center fire rifle that comes to mind which wouldn't be banned under your definition of assault weapon that I can think up would be the Military's M1 Garand rifle. That particular rifle is available to anyone as it is not a full auto, it was the military's main battle rifle for over 20 years and has probably killed more people than any one gun model ever, in part due to it's powerful 30.06 ammo (substantially more powerful than an AR-15's ammo) and that it has been used by the US in multiple wars.

Since you named magazine and belted, what happens when a new feeding method is developed and the guns are unbanned?



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Response to Always Right (Reply #20)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 03:07 PM

21. My definition (or post content) suggests banning nothing. It's just a definition.

 

There's nothing innately unconstitutional with categorizing a group of guns and giving them a name "Assault Weapon" regardless of how "over inclusive" some might find the definition. It's just an exercise in logistics and legal definition.

Nor did I advocate banning anything. I simply suggested that Assault Weapons be held under the purview of the NFA and the future transfer of such items be made in accordance with ATF/NFA regulations. No one is banning or confiscating ANYTHING. Assault weapons already owned can be grandfathered in with tax-exempt registrations, and they can continued being owned and used all the same. And if someone wants to sell an assault weapon then they can do so under the transfer procedure set forth by the ATF/NFA. It's a system already in place with well understood regulations in the gun community. And for sellers or purchasers of otherwise assault weapons that do not want to deal with added ATF/NFA regulations, they can have the rifles' magazines made integral to the existing firearm via an ATF approved method. This address samples already on the market without confiscation or costly reimbursement while giving the current owners of such weapons a choice of legally continuing possession as NFA Assault Rifle... or converting the weapon to a Non-Assault Rifle.

As far as development of new feeding methods, Necessity is the mother of all invention. If a new feeding device is truly needed, I'm sure one will be created eventually. And if it can be marketed at a low enough price with enough sold to the extent of creating a public safety issue needing addressed... Well then, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And I'm sure new legislation can be invented.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 03:36 PM

22. The NFA registry has its own issues

 

I am not taking a stance on banning anything either, rather I was pointing out that your definition of AW would include many guns not generally considered to fit in that category and I listed one specific military weapon which didn't fit in your category.

As for the NFA registry, it has lots of errors and they seem to be running 1980's technology as it can take upwards of a year to process the paperwork for a transfer and that is with just the present categories of NFA items. Adding many millions of new items to the registry would require an entirely new way to process transfers, not to mention greatly expanding the ATF budget to hire many more examiners. Now I'm not saying that this can't be done, rather I'm just saying that the NFA process isn't as nearly as simple as you think.

In fact, until just last year, all NFA paperwork required the signature of the local chief law enforcement officer. That requirement dated back to 1934 when there was no way for the federal government's clerk doing the transfer to be aware of any local laws that would forbid a person from possessing that item. However, today with computerized systems and instant check, it is easy to know on the spot. As most police chiefs would refuse to sign anything, the vast majority of people were prevented from any sort of NFA transfer. Of course that didn't apply to the rich and connected, they still got their signatures.

The only reason the signature was removed was because people were getting around it through other means and the ATF wanted to stop that as the new method not only opened up a challenge to the existing machine gun ban but actually avoided background checks.

My point being that if you are going to add things to NFA, you will need to fix the NFA process. Given that there are already instant background checks done at the point of sale of regular firearms, there isn't any reason the NFA process can't be instant as well. I suspect that you would see a lot less resistance to making stuff NFA if the NFA system were fixed.

As an aside, the LV shooter had a clean record and enough money that he certainly could have bought a full auto water cooled belt fed machine gun capable of sustained fire so adding semi-autos to the NFA wouldn't have stopped the LV shooting.

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Response to Always Right (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 04:01 PM

23. New NFA process is just fine. People are just impatient.

 

I've submitted two forms in just the last month and also have about half-dozen pending with about a dozen approved. Some are Personal Transfer. Some are Trust Transfers. I prefer the personal transfers, to be honest though.

Word has it transfers are speeding back up. I think the NFA process could be exponentially sped up using the E-File system again, and then accepting digital prints, and digital photos. At that point, data entry is automatic and errors would be dramatically reduced. I'm not sure why it went away, as I never used it.

No, the NFA solution doesn't stop the Las Vegas shooter. Which suggests to me this was an idea hatched by him only in the last 4-6 months and he wasn't a full-on gun nut prior to that either. I'm assuming a full-on gun nut with that kind of cash (living in LV Nevada of all places) would have all kinds of transferrable MGs if he were a long time tactical enthusiast.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 04:10 PM

24. Eforms never worked right

 

Transfers speed up and slow down, but are mostly slow.

I'm familiar with eforms from back before they took it down and it used to crash all the time and it did in fact have errors, though it was a good first attempt.

I don't think the problem with the delay is impatience, rather it is more practical like storage of the NFA item while the paperwork is pending as well as the huge potential to get scammed.

Machine guns are tens of thousands of dollars. With the current process, most everyone requires payment in full before the transfer is started. Meanwhile the buyer is without the gun and the money and there have been lots of instances where the seller was a scam, the seller continued to use the item and so on.

As you mentioned eforms, there isn't any technical reason why the paperwork couldn't be an instant process which would avoid a lot of the push back against making stuff NFA.

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Response to JoeStuckInOH (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 10:33 PM

45. Simplicity is good, but...

 

how do you define "permanently attached to the gun.... California style?

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 01:16 PM

10. Your definition of AW is too broad and at the same time over inclusive

 

Using your definition of AW, it would be easy enough to get around by changing the dimensions of the ammo or even using rimmed ammo and a few other ways I can think of to avoid being an AW.

Also, your definition of semi-automatic would include revolvers.

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Response to Always Right (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 02:09 PM

13. There's no point in reinventing the wheel in an effort to get around this

Last edited Wed Oct 11, 2017, 05:15 AM - Edit history (1)

There are many semiautomatic rifles out there that would not fall under the definition of AW that I propose. If you increase the length of the casing to exceed the minimum, then you'd have to increase the diameter of the bullet to at least 6.5 mm. If you go with rimfire, you might as well stick with the .17 or .22 . There's probably a good reason why bigger caliber rimfire rounds are uncommon.

The full definition of semiautomatic is at the link I provided. I didn't cut and paste the whole description. But I agree with you that what I do have is poorly worded and I'll change it later today.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 03:25 PM

16. Pressure, in answer to your statement:

"There's probably a good reason why bigger caliber rimfire rounds are uncommon."

Rimfires run at a lower pressure, due to the entire rim of the cartridge has to be soft enough to be dented by the firing pin. Too much pressure, and you have a blown rim/case head separation. Pressures like the .223 will completely blow out the rim, and most likely destroy the rifle as well.

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Response to yagotme (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 03:40 PM

17. Thanks for the info!

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #17)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 09:47 AM

29. Welcome! n/t

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Response to Always Right (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 05:22 AM

18. I would like to read your thoughts on how to avoid being an AW.

If you change the dimensions of the ammo, you might as well just buy a rifle off the shelf such as a Ruger10/22 or an AR-10 that fires the .260 Remington.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 11:58 AM

19. Not sure anyone can define semi-auto AW

 

First, I'd define what an assault rifle is as a selective-fire rifle (meaning machine gun) that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. As I would include full auto "pistols" in the above definition if they use an intermediate cartridge but do not meet the legal definition of rifle as they would still be lumped in the category of machine guns, regardless of length.

As for assault weapon, that would be any kind of weapon you could assault someone with.

What you are really asking for is how I would define the category of semi-auto weapons typically considered most dangerous. Unfortunately I don't think that is possible as no matter where I draw the line on dimensions, capacity or any other factor, it could still be avoided by a slight change.

For example, you talked about having a fixed magazine, we that didn't work in California as it was easily worked around by the Bullet Button. Change the law to outlaw the Bullet Button, the next day the Bullet Button Reloaded was available.

Even if you made it so the magazine didn't come out, you would still need an arbitrary magazine limit or you would get something like this...

[link:|]

That is a helical rotary magazine that holds 100 rounds.

Look at New York. There they passed an AW ban but since that is just a made up media term and can't really be defined, it didn't take long for New York AW ban compliant guns to make it back into the market (though they look a bit weird).

While I don't like to give my personal opinion, I think the bottom line is either you ban everything or nothing as everything else is just useless regulation and a waste of time that only causes more gun sales and more gun profits as people buy up stuff before it is banned then buy the new stuff to get around the ban.

Want to have a heart attack? Check out this link.

[link:http://www.store.silencerco.com/products/maxim-50|]

That is a 50 caliber rifle with built in silencer but guess what, it is available by mail with no paperwork and no background check. (Note: buying a gun over the internet still requires it be sent to a local dealer who then does the paperwork and background check)

How is it possible the gun linked above is totally unrestricted? Well for starters, it isn't a gun. Under the law, guns are only modern weapons and that gun is a muzzle loader and counts as an antique. Also, the silencer isn't legally a silencer either as silencers can be mounted on guns while a silencer mounted on anything else is just a muffler, like on your car. As that muzzle loader isn't a gun and the silencer can't be removed as it is welded on, then it isn't a silencer. Since it isn't a gun or a silencer, then it is legal to sell like a hammer or any other tool.

Trying to define AW is like squeezing a balloon. You won't make the balloon smaller, it just puffs out where you aren't pressing.


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Response to Always Right (Reply #19)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 04:31 PM

25. That maxim 50 is dumb as hell

 

Picture this...

Shooting a 22LR is dirty enough to the point that nearly NO modern rimfire silencers are sealed anymore. The only sealed units still sold are made by cutrate garage-machine-shops. I had a sealed 22LR silencer so full of lead and crud buildup you couldn't see the first two baffles anymore. And despite 22LR being so dirty, I can shoot a couple hundred rounds reliably though my 22LR guns without them needing cleaning.

And then there are black powder muzzle loaders... Guns that are so filthy with sticky residue buildup that you've got to clean them every couple dozen rounds. And someone thought it was good idea to made a welded-closed black powder silencer that cant be taken apart to clean?!? What a terrible idea.

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Response to Always Right (Reply #19)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 05:57 PM

26. You said in an earlier post that it was easy to get around what I proposed

"Using your definition of AW, it would be easy enough to get around by changing the dimensions of the ammo or even using rimmed ammo and a few other ways I can think of to avoid being an AW. "

I would like to read about the few other ways you can think of to avoid being an AW using my definition as articulated in the OP.

"For example, you talked about having a fixed magazine..."

Magazines aren't mentioned at all in the OP.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 06:58 AM

27. I have a few basic questions

1. Defining an "assault weapon" is a task whose objective is to provide criteria to identify modern black scary semi-auto rifles so that they may be banned from sale, transfer, manufacture and/or possession. Why engage in this pointless charade?

2. Why engage in an activity lending credibility to folks with the goal of banning common use rifles with legal purposes?

A couple basic facts: Gun-control isn't about guns, it's about "control", the control of non-criminal individuals who some folks just don't like. It's about associating at least one in four of "the people" referred to in the Constitution and Bill of Rights with criminal activity without a trial or right of appeal. The "control" part of gun-control is a myth.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #27)

Thu Oct 12, 2017, 12:12 PM

28. Some answers

Last edited Thu Oct 12, 2017, 01:56 PM - Edit history (1)

1) My definition has nothing to do with appearance. It concentrates on the action of the gun, the length of the barrel and features of the round the gun is designed or has been modified to fire.

2)I say nothing about banning or regulating but I am engaging in an exercise in coming up with a set of definitions for what an assault weapon may be which is easy to understand and can't be easily worked around.


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Response to Kaleva (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 14, 2017, 11:00 AM

30. And replies

Me: 1. Defining an "assault weapon" is a task whose objective is to provide criteria to identify modern black scary semi-auto rifles so that they may be banned from sale, transfer, manufacture and/or possession. Why engage in this pointless charade?

Kaleva: 1) My definition has nothing to do with appearance. It concentrates on the action of the gun, the length of the barrel and features of the round the gun is designed or has been modified to fire.
It is an excellent idea to develop a precise terminology for use in discussing any topic. No one doubts this. I'm not arguing that point. I'm asking "Why pursue a definition, even a concise and reasonable one, for assault weapons? In my opinion this is an exercise where, once a definition is created, it begs to utilized in some way. Please explain the utility of having a definition.



Me: 2. Why engage in an activity lending credibility to folks with the goal of banning common use rifles with legal purposes?

Kaleva: 2)I say nothing about banning or regulating but I am engaging in an exercise in coming up with a set of definitions for what an assault weapon may be which is easy to understand and can't be easily worked around.
I understand you didn't mention a ban or regulations. "an exercise in coming up with a set of definitions for what an assault weapon may be which is easy to understand and can't be easily worked around" is not in itself useful in a vacuum. Why expend the energy and time to create a definition without a use in mind?


As I see it firearm types for classification purposes include the type of action (bolt, lever, semi-auto...), ammo diameter or caliber, ammo design (shot pellets, soft point, hollow point fmj...), pistol, rifle, sbr...
Developing language has a purpose. An assault rifle was developed some years back as a military weapon useful in certain battle tactics. The term followed the development of the device. No one is developing the termed "assault baseball bat" though the design could certainly be optimized for the purpose of fighting.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #30)

Sat Oct 14, 2017, 10:25 PM

31. Most every term in relation to guns is well understood except for assault weapons

Definitions for assault weapons are all over the place. Mine gets away from appearance, accessories and even magazine capacity.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 15, 2017, 08:15 AM

33. Have you considered why that term is misunderstood and ill-defined?

I believe the reason is that the term itself is used principally used to disparage modern rifles (and by association their owners) and to ban their use and possession.

I see no advantage in having a useful and workable definition for rifles of modern design using center fire ammo under 6.5 mm diameter.

I think accepting your definition means that an AWB would not affect AR pattern rifle in 7.62 or .338. For this reason I don't think the pro-regulation folk will accept it. Language has a purpose. Often the meaning of a term changes with time and is influenced by connotative use. For example, the term "dope" has come to mean "a drug taken illegally for recreational purposes, especially marijuana or heroin." When the drug "control" laws were passed, this term was used to broad-brush all the "drugs" except tobacco and alcohol. We're changing that now after dozens of years and an uncountable number of lives destroyed and money spent imprisoning those that used pot, not to mention the money earned by actual criminals in dealing and smuggling drugs.

IMNSHO many pro-regulation folk want to make a statement that the tools used by some mass shooters are indicative of mental or emotional compromise on the part of any owner. I have no interest in legitimizing a useless term to which they cling. Much like "nose bagger" was a disparaging term, I believe assault weapon is being pushed as a negative description. I haven't seen any positive uses for it. While many negative terms exist already (like war criminal) I am unconvinced we need this new one. YMMV

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #33)

Wed Oct 18, 2017, 10:03 PM

34. Semi-automatics have been around for decades.

So has center fire ammo.

Your comment:

"I see no advantage in having a useful and workable definition for rifles of modern design using center fire ammo under 6.5 mm diameter. "

My definition has nothing to do with how modern or old the design of the rifle is.

An AR platform firing the 6.5mm Creedmore, 6.5mm Grendel, or 6.5mm x 47 Lapua would be an AW but the same platform firing the 6.5mm-284 Norma, 6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser , or 260 Remington would not.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #34)

Thu Oct 19, 2017, 07:02 AM

35. Can you conceive of the color red?

A true basic primary red is a rather recognizable color. In RGB standards you get red by setting red=255, green=0 and blue=0. Numerous colors close to red can be named according to common items we see around us. We get the color brick red this way. I can describe a color 2 shades darker than brick. I can even give it a name like "Michter". Why would I want to?

Why would having a description for "assault weapon" be useful?

If I invented a 6.5mm center fire round less than capable of being from a .26 caliber (6.6mm) weapon (hypothetical) then that weapon would be an assault weapon when loaded with the 6.5mm ammo but not when loaded with 6.6?

Why is the exercise of use? A definition for a term without a use for the term has no purpose. How would the term be used?

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #35)

Thu Oct 19, 2017, 11:03 AM

36. Your arguing in circles isn't going to be effective on me.

You stated earlier that you believe the term is used to disparage modern designs. You have to admit that my proposed definition doesn't do that. Wouldn't it make sense to adapt a definition that addresses your main complaint about how the term is used?"

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #36)

Thu Oct 19, 2017, 09:04 PM

37. re: "Wouldn't it make sense to adapt a definition that addresses your main complaint...

...about how the term is used?"


With terminology I would prefer in all case that the term be precise and meaningful. Your definition is very precise. I just don't see it as being useful. The only way I can see the term "assault weapon" as useful is if it is defined as follows: A weapon used in an assault.

An assault rifle is a select fire rifle of most any caliber. M-16, AK-47...
A heavy machine gun is a generally a crew served weapon operable in full-auto which was designed to have relatively interchangeable barrels. M-2...
An SMG is a rifle sized arm operating in full-auto that takes pistol sized round. M1928A1
I'm a bit sketchy on some aspects of this but from memory that's what I get. I don't see a use in having semi-auto rifles grouped as follows:
Rim fire and non-rim fire with non-rim fire divided between "assault weapons" and non-"assault weapons".

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #37)

Fri Oct 20, 2017, 06:13 AM

38. The term assault weapon is going to stay around. It's not going away.

I wanted to come up with a definition that is precise. There's no easy way around it and so far, no one has come forward with an idea on how to. The only way is to either change the action of the gun or the size of the center fire cartridge. My definition also gets away from the debate on magazine capacity and the appearance of the gun.

Back in 2012 when I first came up with this, I decided not to include semi-automatics that fired rimfire ammo because they are very popular and common guns used for target shooting, as plinkers, for varmint control and have a long history of being used successfully in home defense situations. And they are very rarely the weapon of choice for bad guys.

And as for the dimensions of the cartridge, I choose a minimum of 6.5mm for the diameter of the bullet and 2" for the length of the case because at that size and bigger, one is getting into ammunition that is commonly used by hunters and long range target shooters.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #38)

Sat Oct 21, 2017, 02:16 PM

39. I can really appreciate having a well defined term

You've done a good job of carefully nailing down that one.

I have some basic objections. From the pro-RKBA side, I don't see how anyone would find it useful to say, "I need to go to the gun store and get a new assault weapon." I also can't imagine a store having an "ASSAULT WEAPON SALE". From the pro-regulation side, I don't see those folks accepting that certain rifles, which they would like to ban from sale, not being allowed to be termed "assault weapons". (Semi-auto AK pattern rifles take 7.62 x 39 IIRC.) From the hunting side, as you point out, it's too small for any sizeable game, only varmint sized animals.

I don't think you definition is lacking in anything inherently, it just doesn't seem useful that any group would want to incorporate the term as you define it in their conversation or advertising.

But I do appreciate the compulsive need to have a precise definition.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 04:18 AM

40. My proposed definition isn't going to be adopted by anyone

But I thought it was a interesting exercise to engage in. And I thought and still believe it accomplishes a number of things.

1) There's no easy way to get around it unless one changes the action of the rifle/carbine or the dimensions of the cartridge the rifle/carbine fires.

2) Appearance of the gun or what accessories the gun has is irrelevant.

3) Magazine capacity, or what type of magazine the gun uses, is irrelevant.

4) Handguns are not affected by this.

5) Semi-automatics that fire rimfire cartridges are not affected.

6) Semiautomatic rifles/carbines that fire ammunition popular with hunters and long range target shooters are not affected.

7) Semiautomatic shotguns, because they fire shells and not cartridges, are not affected by this.

Just for giggles though, I may edit my OP and e-mail it to my senators and representative.



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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Sat Oct 14, 2017, 10:58 PM

32. For some, it would be any weapon not

in existence when the constitution was ratified.

I would *NEVER* want to own an Assault Weapon. No weapon I even want will ever assault another human being, be it a slingshot or a Barrett.

I happen to have a diverse and inclusive variety of defensive weapons, however. Don't fuck with my life, liberty or property and someone will never know I have them.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Fri Nov 3, 2017, 11:38 PM

41. What is the point of another artificial definition?

In the real world, there is no such thing as an "assault weapon".
Yes, in the real world there are assault rifles.
Yes, in the real world there are semi-automatic carbines.

Any definition to create an artificial group of firearms is of no useful purpose.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #41)

Sun Nov 5, 2017, 09:05 PM

42. The term "assault weapon" is in very common use.

Assault weapons were being discussed in this group back when I joined DU in very early 2008.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 8, 2017, 05:14 AM

46. And whatever made-up definition used back then

made no more sense then than the variations of the definitions still used now.

In the real world, there is no such thing as an "assault weapon".

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 01:56 PM

43. Any semi-automatic firearm with a removable magazine. Simple, short, easy.

Then ban the manufacture, import, sale or transfer of any semi-automatic firearm with a removable magazine under penalty of 20 years incarceration in federal prison.

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 6, 2017, 10:20 PM

44. "Simple, short, easy." And impossible. But by all means try for your 'Prohibition 3.0'

No doubt it would be every bit as successful as the ones against alcohol, cannabis, and heroin...

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