Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition - Gun Control Act Definitions - Firearm

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Firearms Verification

Gun Control Act Definitions


18 U.S.C., § 921(a)(3)

Note: This section is intended to provide basic guidance in understanding firearm terminology. Please bear in mind that these illustrations do not necessarily depict importable firearms.

The term “Firearm” means:

  1. 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; Image of a revolver firearm expelling a projectile and a starter gun converted to a firearm to expel a projectile

  2. The frame or receiver of any such weapon; Image of a frame or receiver constitutes a firearm.

  3. Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

  4. Any destructive device.Images of destructive devices, a street sweeper shotgun, grenades and a grenade launcher.

Firearm Frame or Receiver

That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel. 27 CFR § 478.11.


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Last Reviewed April 27, 2018