- Assault Weapon
as·sault (ə-sôlt′) weap·on (wĕp′ən)
Assault weapon is a political and legal term that refers to different types of firearms and weapons, and is a term that has differing meanings, usages and purposes.
In discussions about gun laws and gun politics in the United States, an assault weapon is most commonly defined as a semi-automatic firearm possessing certain cosmetic, ergonomic, orconstruction features similar to those of military firearms.
A political term with no fixed definition, being defined differently by different jurisdictions. Because the actual definition is so fluid, laws written to regulate assault weapons often define the term by various cosmetic characteristics which do not affect a firearm's power or function in any fundamental way. Despite public perception, assault weapons are not machine guns. They are semi-automatic firearms, not fully automatic firearms.
The term is distinct from the term assault rifle, which is a technical term with a specific meaning widely accepted both in law and within the military and firearms communities.