Destructive Devices

For the purposes of the National Firearms Act (NFA), the term “Destructive Device” (DD) means:

  • A missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than 1/4 oz.
  • Any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore greater than 1/2 in in diameter.
  • A combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a device into a destructive device and from which a destructive device can be readily assembled.

nfa-destructive-device

Exemptions:

  • A shotgun or shotgun shell which is determined by the Attorney General to be generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes,
  • A device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon,
  • A device which is designed or redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line-throwing, safety, or similar device,***
  • Surplus ordnance sold, loaded, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to law such as antique, obsolete bronze or iron cannon,
  • A device which the Attorney General determines is not likely to be used as a weapon,
  • An antique firearm, or
  • A rifle which the owner intended to use solely for sporting purposes

*** Ammunition designed to be used against individuals is available for these 37/38mm devices. This “anti-personnel” ammunition consists of cartridges containing wood pellets, rubber pellets or balls, and bean bags. When a gas/flare gun is possessed with “anti-personnel” type ammunition, it clearly becomes an instrument of offensive or defensive combat and is capable of use as a weapon. Since these gas/flare guns have a bore diameter of greater than one-half inch, fire a projectile by the means of an explosive, and, when possessed with “anti-personnel” ammunition, are capable of use as a weapon, the combination of the gas/flare gun and “anti-personnel” ammunition is a destructive device as defined by the GCA and NFA. As a result, registration as a destructive device is required. (18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4) and 26 U.S.C. 5845 (f)(2).

 

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