GUN CONTROL: The full-auto machine gun used by the Las Vegas terrorist is nearly impossible for people to own

As authorities continue to piece together information that will help them better understand the motives behind the Las Vegas murders, one thing has become abundantly clear already: The fully automatic firearms the shooter is believed to have used are extremely rare, heavily regulated and expensive to own/obtain.

Already insane Democrats are blaming the guns and not the shooter, who could be a terrorist operative for all we know at this point. That’s a typical, politically-motivated response for far-Left liberal Democrats who really want to ban all guns regardless of how they function.

That said, it’s worth noting that the use of an automatic weapon to commit this horrific crime is so rare as to be statistically immeasurable. In fact, the last time an automatic weapon was used to commit mass murder was decades ago.

As for obtaining one of these weapons, there are a number of very expensive hoops you must jump through and several legal hurdles to clear before the government will let you have one.

Fully automatic weapons have been banned for civilians who have not first obtained special permission from local law enforcement and the federal government since 1934, following passage of the National Firearms Act.

If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you need not even bother to apply. Even some misdemeanors will disqualify you.

There is a form that local police must sign off on before you can proceed any further. If they don’t sign, you don’t get your weapon.

Each gun is subject to a $200 tax every time it changes hands, and each time that happens, owners must be federally registered and approved by Uncle Sam and local law enforcement before the transfer/purchase can occur. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulate the sale and licensure of automatic weapons.

Also, since the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns — weapons made after that law was passed — is prohibited outright to civilians. That legislation dramatically limited the number of automatic weapons that could even be obtained by anyone other than police, the military, and federal agents.

Because the number of full-auto weapons is very low — there were some 240,000 registered weapons in 1995 — the price of a machine gun is very high and, for most Americans, prohibitively high. Just as an example, I have a friend who bought a 1970s-era M-16 rifle and it cost him $20,000.

There are some states that completely ban automatic weapons, period, despite the federal requirement to be licensed, further limiting where these guns can be legally owned. (Related: Five things that just don’t add up about the Las Vegas mass shooting.)

CNN idiot Don Lemon once said that “automatic weapons are easy to buy.” Broadcasting from Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the Michael Brown incident and subsequent rioting, Lemon — who was there to further fan the flames of division and lie about what did and did not happen in the Brown case — had a back-and-forth with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson over the issue.

“Let’s deal with the facts here,” Ferguson said. “A semi-automatic weapon is a gun that you or I are allowed to own and in different places they have different rules. But to imply that anyone can just go out and buy an automatic weapon is just not true, Don.”

“What do you mean?” Lemon said. “During the theater shooting in Colorado, I was able to go and buy an automatic weapon, and I maybe have shot a gun three, four times in my life. I don’t live in Colorado. I think most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon.”

That’s completely false — and irresponsible because it proves that Lemon did zero research before making that ridiculous claim. “An automatic weapon is something that you can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly,” he said. But that’s not the legal definition of an automatic weapon; turns out Lemon went out and bought an AR-15, which may look like a fully-auto M-4, but is in actuality a semi-automatic rifle.

The truth is, the average Joe or Jane cannot legally obtain a fully-automatic weapon. So it will be interesting to see where Vegas shooter got his.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

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