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ASSAULT PISTOL
A slang term invented by gun control supporters, apparently derived from the slang term "assault weapon" (see), generally used to refer to semi-automatic pistols that look like compact submachineguns.

ASSAULT WEAPON
A slang term used to describe things other than firearms for decades, and adopted by gun control supporters in the mid-1980s, which they first applied to military-looking semi-automatic rifles, but have since applied to a variety of other firearms as well. At any one time numerous, varied definitions exist in legislation, law and proposals put forward by gun control groups.

BANANA CLIP
A device used to clip a banana, or gun control supporters' slang term for a curved detachable magazine.

BARREL SHROUD
On a machine gun, which can generate a lot of heat, a shroud prevents a person from touching the barrel and burning his hand. On an "assault pistol", however, it is primarily a cosmetic feature, intended to give the gun a machine gun-like appearance.

BAYONET MOUNT
A feature found on millions of surplus military rifles of the last century, as well as on some rifles labeled as "assault weapons." Given that there have not been any crimes committed with bayonets on rifles, the mounts are apparently harmless.

CLIP
A device that is used to load ammunition into a magazine. The term is often incorrectly used synonymously with magazine.

FLASH SUPPRESSOR
A device affixed to the end of a rifle barrel, to reduce the light flash associated with firing a shot. Useless during bright daylight conditions, a flash suppressor can protect the rifle's user from being temporarily blinded when firing at night, as might occur in a home defense situation.

DETACHABLE MAGAZINE
A device that holds ammunition within a firearm, for subsequent transfer to the chamber (the rear of the barrel, from which ammunition is fired). Magazines can be "fixed" (not readily detachable) or "detachable," by pressing a button or lever and removing the magazine by hand.

FOLDING STOCK
A type of shoulder stock that allows a rifle to be made more compact for transportation purposes, such as when skiing or hiking in rough terrain. Also useful for military personnel when parachuting to the ground. Since federal law requires that a rifle or shotgun be 26 inches long, regardless of the stock, a folding stock does not make a rifle or shotgun "concealable."

FULLY AUTOMATIC FIREARM (aka "Machine Gun")
A firearm that can fire repeatedly as long as the trigger is held down. Such firearms, which are not "assault weapons," are restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934. See 26 USC 5845 Chapter 53.

GRENADE LAUNCHER
A grenade launcher and the grenades that it launches are restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934. However, because some grenades can fit over some flash suppressors, gun control supporters decided it would be useful for propaganda purposes to add "grenade launcher" to the list of features that caused a rifle to be defined as an "assault weapon" in the 1994 ban.

"LARGE-CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICE"
A term used in the federal "assault weapon" and magazine ban of 1994, to refer to magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Most modern defensive handguns are designed to use magazines of between 12-19 rounds, and most of the semi-automatic rifles that have labeled as "assault weapons" are designed to use magazines that hold between 20-35 rounds.

MAGAZINE
A device that holds ammunition within a firearm, for subsequent transfer to the chamber (the rear of the barrel, from which ammunition is fired). Magazines can be "fixed" (not readily detachable) or "detachable," by pressing a button or lever and removing the magazine by hand.

MAGAZINE THAT ATTACHES OUTSIDE THE GRIP
A criteria of the 1994 "assault weapon" ban, relative to pistols. With most semi-automatic pistols, the magazine is inserted in the grip. With a few, like the century-old Mauser Broomhandle (include photo), the magazine is inserted in the grip. It has no bearing on the way the pistol fires.

MILITIA
The "well regulated militia" mentioned in the Second Amendment consists of the citizenry. The Militia of the United States, a subset of the well regulated militia that is obligated to serve if called upon, has, since 1792, been defined in federal law as all able-bodied males of age. In 1903, it was divided into its organized element (the National Guard, when not federalized) and its unorganized element (all other members of the militia).

PISTOL GRIP
Originally, as applied to rifles and shotguns, a curved section in the wrist of a shoulder stock, shaped to accommodate the shape of a person's hand. In the context of the "assault weapon" debate, the term is used to mean a pistol-type grip (see), separated from the stock.

PISTOL-TYPE GRIP (aka "Pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon." — from the 1994 ban)
A grip that, by necessity, is separated from the stock of a rifle, when the top of the rifle's stock is level with the barrel, to reduce muzzle climb associated with recoil. Such a grip is placed at the same angle as grips on pistols, for the simple reason that it is the most comfortable position.

SEMI-AUTOMATIC
A firearm that fires one shot with a single pull of the trigger, and which uses a portion of the energy of a fired round to cycle the firearm's unloading and loading mechanism. See 18 USC 921(a)(28).

SILENCER
A device that reduces the noise made by firing a rifle or pistol. Restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934, no "assault weapons" were ever designed with silencers, though for propaganda purposes some gun control groups claim otherwise.

TELESCOPING STOCK
A type of shoulder stock that has the same advantages as a folding stock (see), but which is opened and closed by a sliding motion, rather than by folding. Some telescoping stocks—particularly those for the AR-15 carbine—are adjustable for length, to tailor the length of the rifle to the physique of the user and the bulk of the clothing he or she wears.

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