Automatic / Machinegun
An Automatic rifle. Note the markings at the selector switch just above and behind the trigger where S (Sicher) is safe, E (Einzelfeuer) one-shot, is semi-automatic, and F (Feuerstoß) is automatic.
A Browning M2 .50 Calibre [Automatic] Machinegun.
Automatic - A type of firearm which, utilizing some of the recoil or some of the expanding-gas energy from the firing cartridge, to cycle the action and eject the spent shell, to chamber a fresh one from a magazine, to cock the mainspring and to fire again. Such a firearm will fire continuously as long as the trigger is held back, until the magazine is empty or it's belt-feed runs out. A machine gun.
A firearm thus activated, but which shoots only one bullet with each separate pull of the trigger, while often erroneously referred to as "automatic" is properly termed a Semi-Automatic.
In the USA, machineguns are regulated by the BATF under The National Firearms Act, Title 26, USC, Chapter 53. Basically, in order for a US Citizen to purchase a machinegun, he must meet all the criteria for owning an ordinary firearm, and he must:
1. Purchase one of the existing pool of currently-registered and transferable machineguns, estimated at around 100,000 units, of all kinds, in total.
2. Complete a BATF Form 4 in concert with the seller, and have it signed by his local chief law enforcement officer attesting to the fact that there are no local prohibitions to such ownership. There are many jurisdictions with such prohibitions.
3. Submit two sets of fingerprints.
4. Pay a one-time $200 transfer tax to the US Dept of the Treasury.
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