Common firearm misconceptions and myths

Peter Uliano
7 min readApr 29, 2024

If you are reading this article, then chances are you are pro-2A and reading this on either a website or in a magazine that is read by 2nd Amendment supporters. This article is not for you; however, I do encourage you to share it, post it on social media, and discuss it in a calm and educated manner with anti-gun folks, as it is my purpose to dispel some common myths that the anti-gun community usually bring up quite often without the knowledge and education on the points that they are arguing. This is through no fault of their own as they trust in the people who are perpetuating these falsehoods, believing that these individuals have their best interest in mind…

I am a “gun guy”. What that means to me is that I appreciate, understand, and have an interest in firearms for sport, collecting, self-defense, and historical context. My interests may not necessarily be the same as another gun enthusiast or a hunter for that matter; however, it is a shared interest amongst many, both domestically and abroad. I had to carry a firearm for work in law enforcement. Before that, I frequented shooting ranges, gun clubs, competitive matches, shows, and other firearm enthusiast-related events, and I am a collector.

If there is one major thing I notice about more than 90 percent or more of the gun community, it is that they are passionate about safety, following the laws, and they are always educating themselves further, whether it be training, laws, or just keeping up with new products and designs.

In the anti-gun, anti-2A community, I often hear arguments being made that are based on complete falsehoods, half-truths, and some so-called facts that do not even exist, and most who argue them are completely unaware that they are arguing something that does not exist or is only half the truth. I would like to address these and spread some clarification and education to those who may not understand in order to rid these unjust biases against the gun community and foster a better understanding of terms and laws that do exist. So I ask you reading this, to please read with an open mind and a willingness to learn, as what I present are 100% verifiable and sourced facts that you can further research on your own. I encourage you to fact-check me because reading something without researching and clarifying the sources is irresponsible. So without further ado:

Assault Rifles and the AR15:

The AR in AR15 does not stand for “Assault Rifle”; it actually stands for ArmaLite, the original manufacturer of the firearm. The military version of the AR15, which was originally called the M16, does have the capability to fire in automatic; however, the typical civilian available version does not. According to Britannica, “Assault Rifle” means: “military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire.” Oxford Languages defines it as ”a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for infantry use”. Again, the typical civilian does not have these firearms or the military version of the rifle. No automatic weapons or “Assault Rifles” have been used in mass shootings in the United States since at least 1982. Machine guns/automatic weapons or “Assault Rifles” are highly regulated firearms pursuant to the National Firearms Act, more commonly referred to as NFA items. Basically, in order to own one, your state has to allow ownership, the gun had to be manufactured before 1986, then you have to pay a $200 tax stamp to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and wait for approval. The gun is then federally registered and furthermore, they cost upwards of $10,000.00 making them difficult for the average person to purchase. They are not as common as the non-gun folks think and some politicians will have you believe. Semiautomatic firearms can only shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger; they are not automatic, it is not a machine gun or an “Assault Rifle.” I often hear the term from the media “fully semi-automatic.” This is a made-up term to trick the average person into thinking the firearm used was an automatic or machine gun. The famous .22 caliber rifle used by kids and adults alike for hunting, learning, and sport is the iconic Ruger 10/22 which is a semiautomatic rifle as are most modern rifles today that are not bolt action. It has the same functions and works in the same way as an AR15 as they both are semiautomatic and magazine-fed.

The “Gun Show Loophole”

There is no such thing, and again, this is a trick to try and confuse the uneducated on this matter. All firearm sales from a dealer to an individual are done using an ATF form 4473, which is a “Firearm transaction record.” All sales of firearms from a dealer to an individual not only use a form 4473 but also have a background check pursuant to federal law. Private sales, depending on what state you are in, may not require a background check. A private sale means an individual gun owner to another individual. This is where the media and politicians came up with “gun show Loophole.” A private individual cannot by federal law engage in the business of firearms without an FFL (Federal Firearms License). There is no “Gun Show Loophole” and there never has been. There are private transfers and to be honest, most doing a private transfer try to protect themselves and often times will make a bill of sale and ask for identification or a pistol permit and go above and beyond what is required of them.

High Capacity Magazines

Limiting magazine capacity will not stop someone from changing magazines, which even for inexperienced shooters will only take a few seconds at most. One 30-round magazine or three 10-round magazines really hold no difference than adding a few seconds as previously mentioned. Again, this is an empty argument, which even the politicians know makes no difference but it makes it look like they did something when really what they did was give the anti-gun community a false sense of security.

There are many other gun myths that I wish to address; however, in order to address some basic myths, I felt that I should only use 3 at the moment so that if you share this article, it gets right to the point and addresses these common concerns. All data is cited and backed up, and I am simply trying to educate on the matter to rid the country of these myths pushed by nothing more than an agenda by most who talk about them. It is a simple campaign and popularity tactic used to get your vote by politicians and a media tactic to keep you in fear.

Other points the anti-gun community should be aware of are the people that cannot own guns by law according to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 922).

Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, often called the “Lautenberg Amendment” is a Gun Ban for Individuals Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

By law, a convicted felon cannot be in possession of a firearm. This means a convicted felon would never be able to obtain a License to Carry, have a gun for protection, for sport, to hunt etc.

Has been convicted of, or is under indictment for: A federal crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year (typically a felony, however, federal or state offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices are exempt. A state crime that is not classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. A state crime that is classified as a misdemeanor under state law and is punishable by more than two years imprisonment. A fugitive from justice. An unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance. Underage persons. Someone who has been found by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be a danger to self or others, or to “lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage their own affairs,”. Someone who has been involuntarily hospitalized or committed to a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. A person who is unlawfully in the United States or has been admitted to the US under a nonimmigrant visa. Anyone dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces. Anyone subject to an active court order restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, their child, or a child of a partner, or from engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child.

Peter G. Uliano @PeterUliano on Twitter and Instagram Peter Uliano is a retired Federal Police Officer and firearm enthusiast who has a combined experience of over 20 years in security, firearms, and law enforcement.

References and works cited: 1 — https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2859676/ARPA-AR-15.pdf 2 — https://www.britannica.com/technology/assault-rifle 3- Google search definition from Oxford languages — https://www.google.com/search?q=assault+rifle+definition&sxsrf=AOaemvK5a--_JhXLF-zEhHA5FKqjOCA65A%3A1630946258417&ei=0kM2Yd3lGKPl_QbWmILYDQ&oq=assault+rifle+definition&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAELADEEMyBwgAELADEENKBAhBGABQAFgAYK0saAFwAngAgAEAiAEAkgEAmAEAyAEKwAEB&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwjdloWj5OryAhWjct8KHVaMANsQ4dUDCA8&uact=5 4 — https://www.statista.com/statistics/476409/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-weapon-types-used/ 5 — https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/national-firearms-act 6 — https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/semiautomatic 7 — https://www.atf.gov/firearms/atf-form-4473-firearms-transaction-record-revisions 8 — https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-82/pdf/STATUTE-82-Pg1213-2.pdf 9 — https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/1025 10 — https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922

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