Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms - National Firearms Act Definitions - Firearm

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Firearms Verification

National Firearms Act Definitions

Firearm

26 U.S.C. Chapter 53

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the following definitions are used to define and verify the different types of firearms:

  • § 5845(d) — The term “Shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
    Image of an unaltered shotgun as an example to illustrate the source firearm to be modified in the illustrations below.
  • § 5845(a)(1) — The term “Firearm” means a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    Image of a shotgun that has a modified barrel(s) of less than 18 inches with an overall length of 26 inches or greater.
  • § 5845(a)(2) — The term “Firearm” means a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    Image of a shotgun shown with both modified barrel(s) with a length less than 18 inches and a modified stock resulting in an overall length less than 26 inches

Rifle

26 U.S.C., § 5485(a)

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the following definitions are used to define and verify the different types of firearms:

  • § 5845(c) — The term “Rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
    Image of an unaltered rifle as the source firearm before modificatin or alterations.
  • § 5845(a)(3) — The term “Firearm” means a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    Image of a rifle with modified barrel(s) that are less that 16 inches in length and with an overall length of 26 inches or greater.
  • § 5845(a)(4) — The term “Firearm” means a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    Image of a rifle with modified barrel(s) less than 16 inches and a modified stock making the firearm's overall length less than 26 inches
 
 

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Last Reviewed February 17, 2016