Antique Firearms Defined
Under Title 18, Section 921(a)(3) of the United States Code, "antique firearms" are specifically excluded from the definition of "firearm" as follows:
"The term ''firearm'' means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm."
Title 18, Section 921(a)(16) then defines "antique firearm" as follows:
"The term 'antique firearm' means -
- (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and
- (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica -
- (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
- (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."
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"The term ''destructive device'' means -
- (A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas -
- (B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
- (C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in
converting any device into any destructive device
described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term ''destructive device'' shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the Secretary of the Treasury finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes."
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