what are class 4 weapons

Guide To Know: What Are Class 4 Weapons?

There are interesting and relevant pieces of information to know about what are class 4 weapons. Of course, with what they are, it just makes sense that they are considered prohibited destructive devices. Unless you are military personnel, licensed law enforcement officers, government officials, and part of eligible groups, you can’t own a class 4 weapon.

Ultimately, the most vital thing you need to remember about class 4 weapons is that it is not easy to own one.

With just the name, Class 4 weapons are undeniably interesting. Since they are numbered, it is quite obvious that there are different classes of weapons you need to know. So, it is not only important that you know what Class 4 weapons are but also other classes. Nothing to worry about; you are in the right place to discover more about them. 

Let’s start by knowing what are the Class 4 weapons first before diving into more relevant information about the other classes of weapons. So, no need to search further because everything you need to know is discussed here. So, read along to learn all about them. 

what are class 4 weapons

What are Class 4 Weapons?

Class 4 weapons are popularly termed destructive devices (DD). It is a name set by the National Firearms Act for this specific class of weapons. Thanks to the different action and suspense films, Class 4 weapons have become more well-known to people. As this class of weapons is also named destructive, it only makes sense that strict laws exist for the weapons under this class. 

Without a doubt, different types of weapons are included in the Class 4 category. What you need to remember to know what weapons are under the Class 4 category easily is that all of them can be destructive, especially if they fall into the wrong hands. That said, any weapon that shoots flames, launches an exploding item, or explodes belongs to the Class 4 weapon category. 

No question, weapons classified as Class 4 are not for everyone. In fact, this class of weapons is only allowed to be owned by duty-licensed military personnel, law enforcement officers, and some eligible government officials. Besides that, it is also strictly prohibited to sell, manufacture, export, and import any Class 4 weapon by an ordinary citizen. 

Greatly, Class 4 weapons are highly powerful to the point that they can be extremely destructive once used by an ordinary citizen. Such weapons, including flame throwers, bombs, tanks, dynamites, grenades, and rocket launchers, are examples of weapons you can expect to fall under the Class 4 category of weapons or destructive devices.  

Now that you have already discovered a precise idea of what Class 4 weapons are, let’s move on to know the different classes of weapons you need to be familiar with. Explore below. 

Different Classes of Weapons

Of course, since there are Class 4 weapons, there are other classes. Some classes are allowed to be owned without a federal permit, while some are not for ordinary citizens to possess. Let’s look at each class of weapons to know their differences and what you can own. 

Here, so go have a look. 

class 4 weapons

Class 1

As the name suggests, Class 1 weapons are the most basic type of weapons. Because of that, there is no federal permit required to own weapons under this class category. However, it is important to keep in mind that local laws are different, so there might be places that demand a permit to own a weapon from Class 1. 

Moreover, another relevant piece of information you need to know about Class 1 weapons is that they are the most prevalent type of weapons today. As a matter of fact, weapons under this category are owned by shooters and hunters. This class of weapons generally includes rifles with barrels of 16 inches and more. Besides that, shotguns with barrels of 18 inches and more also belong in the Class 1 weapon category. 

At the same time, Class 1 weapons also include different types of guns. The included guns have semi-automatic actions, break or hinge actions, bolt actions, pump actions, and lever actions. With proper compliance with laws, people can own a weapon under this class. Compared to Class 4 weapons, Class 1 weapons have more relaxed laws for possession. 

Class 2

Like Class 1 weapons, Class 2 weapons also generally don’t need a federal permit for possession. However, there’s also a need to be mindful of the local laws if there’s a wish to own a weapon under this class. Weapons belonging to this class include rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

What’s interesting about Class 2 weapons is that this category only includes semi-automatic weapons. This means that the weapons included are those that can only be fired from the barrel each time the trigger is pulled. Certainly, this is a piece of crucial information you need to keep in mind if you want to differentiate this class from the other classes of weapons easily. 

At the same time, these weapons are allowed to be freely acquired by citizens of legal age as long as they have the complete requirements. Besides that, Class 2 weapons do not have strict restrictions when it comes to magazine capacity. Even though the weapons in this class are non-restrictive, they are all still subject to the Firearms Act. With that having said, they all need to be registered so they can be owned legally. That way, there will be no problem with anything in terms of legality. 

Of course, it will be easier to transfer legal weapons if they are not stolen or prohibited. As long as they are legally registered, there would be no problem. Still, even if the Class 2 weapons have more relaxed laws, they remain as weapons that can cause harm when misused. Needless to say, safety must always be the priority when you are in possession of weapons in this class. 

Class 3

Generally, Class 3 weapons are firearms that are less dangerous compared to Class 4 and Class 5 weapons. There are laws made for possession of weapons from this class category. In fact, you can’t own a Class 3 weapon if you are not a dealer, manufacturer, licensed collector, or eligible importer. 

Moreover, different types of firearms belong to the Class 3 weapon category. To be specific, the list includes short-barreled rifles, fully automatic rifles, handguns, machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, and many more firearms. In addition, the short barrel weapons feature a buttstock and come with an overall barrel length of fewer than 16 inches. This already includes the muzzle to breech.

One notable thing about Class 3 weapons is that they are firearms that are typically more expensive than Class 1 and 2 weapons. The primary reason for this cost is the difficulty of obtaining them. Well, laws need to be followed to own them, which hugely contributes to the price. 

In particular, Class 3 weapons are possessed for self-defense purposes and hunting applications. That said, they are not usually owned for law enforcement or warfare applications. Nonetheless, laws and permits are required for this category of firearms to comply with safety, even if they are less powerful than weapons in Classes 4 and 5. 

Class 4

Being classified as destructive devices, Class 4 weapons are obviously dangerous. Once again, no one can just own this type of firearm because of how destructive it can be. After all, the weapons included here are anything that explodes, shoots flames, and launches an exploding device. So, they naturally are risky and unsafe. 

What you need to know about Class 4 weapons is that only specific groups of people are allowed to have them in possession. Duty-licensed military personnel, law enforcement officers, and some eligible government officials are some of the people that can own Class 4 weapons. That said, no wonder police can seize this kind of weapon even with no warrant to present. 

As a matter of fact, a citizen who is not eligible to own any Class 4 weapon can face criminal charges. That’s how strict the laws can be about this category of firearms. Basically, Class 4 weapons mean that they are destructive devices that are prohibited from being owned by an ordinary citizen. 

While this class of weapons includes a firearm or other weapon that fires projectiles by the action of an explosive, the list is not limited to only machine guns, pistols, shotguns, and rifles. Any more devices you think are dangerous to be owned by an ordinary citizen would probably belong to this class. 

In Canada, Class 4 weapons are highly restricted. With that being said, people who wish to own and use them must ensure a license from the Canadian Firearms Program. Of course, it is not an easy task to acquire a grant to own a weapon in this class because requirements are needed. Surely, safety is a priority regarding the issuance of the license. 

Class 5

Class 5 weapons are powerful firearms and devices that do not belong in Class 1, 2,3, and 4. Quite complicated to think about, right? Well, you need to remember that weapons under this category can mostly cause severe injury and damage. Basically, they are big and strong weapons. 

Interestingly, Class 5 weapons are designed differently, but are far superior to other classes of weapons. They can be more powerful and destructive than you can imagine. That’s why, it is no wonder that there are also strict laws about them. Surely, it can’t be that easy to have them in possession, especially for those people who can’t present proper requirements and are not eligible. 

Now that you have a clear idea about the different classes of weapons that can help to differentiate them from one another efficiently, let’s have a little overview of what are the pros and cons of owning each class of weapons. So, read along to find out more important details. 

class 4 weapon

Pros and Cons of Classes of Weapons 

Greatly, your weapon plays an important part in safety and the game. As for the Class 1 and 2 weapons, they are highly advantageous to own since no federal permit is needed to have them at most local places. That’s why you will not experience great trouble having them in your possession. 

In addition, there is a wide array of weapons belonging to the first two classes of weapons. So, you can have different firearms to choose from. That’s a piece of good news, especially since you can achieve your goal of why you decided to own weapons in the first place. 

Regarding the disadvantages of owning Class 1 or 2 weapons, the observable one is that they are not as powerful as the other weapons in the other classes. Well, that makes sense since they are not destructive ones. As a matter of fact, it can even be a good thing because that’s the primary reason why these weapons have more relaxed laws than other classes. 

Now that we have quickly discussed the pros and cons of owning Class 1 and 2 weapons, let’s focus on the rest of the classes. Explore them below: 

  • Class 3 weapons

If you are in search of less expensive yet adequately powerful weapons, you can never go wrong choosing a firearm or device from this category. The good thing about them is that they are typically reliable for self-defense and hunting

On the flip side, the bad thing about them is they can be tricky to operate. Thus, they might be weapons that can also cause danger. So, you need to be mindful of this possible disadvantage. 

  • Class 4 weapons

As for the advantage of Class 4 weapons, they are powerful. This comes with their disadvantage: they are highly powerful to the point that they can be destructive when used. However, they can be highly useful for those people who can own them. After all, they can be reliable for offensive and defensive maneuvers. 

  • Class 5 weapons

A good point about Class 5 weapons is the fact that they can be highly powerful and versatile that can be perfect in different applications. Without a doubt, they can be used for both attacking and defending purposes. 

On the opposite side, the disadvantage is that they can be hard to obtain and the most expensive to purchase. However, if you think about what Class 5 weapons are, you might conclude that it is not a disadvantage to the point that it can be a deal-breaker.  

Guide to Weapon Categories

Besides the classes, weapons are again divided into several categories. There are various weapons included in one category. Because of that, it is handy to also discover them. The guide is below, so just scroll down for more. But, keep in mind that it is not the full list so, you can think of more weapons that do not belong in any category below. Nonetheless, the guide is enough to give you a clear idea of different weapon categories. 


Category A

Under this category, the different weapons included are the following:

  • Air guns
  • Paintball guns
  • Powerheads
  • Air rifles
  • Rimfire rifles and break-action shotguns combination
  • Rimfire rifles, except those that are self-loading
  • Single or double barrel shotguns
  • Shotguns other than pump-action shotguns, self-loading shotguns, or lever-action shotguns
  • Cannon that comes with a barrel length of less than 120cm is a muzzle-loading cannon with black powder, a naval gun, or depicts a scale model of an archaic artillery piece

Category B

Some of the weapons included in the Category B are the following: 

  • One-shot center-fire rifles
  • Muzzleloaders
  • Center-fire rifles, except semi-automatic rifles
  • Break action shotgun and center-fire rifle combination
  • Lever-action shotguns that are equipped with a magazine capacity of fewer than five rounds
  • Repeating center-fire rifles
  • Shotgun/rifle combinations
  • Double-barrel center-fire rifles

Category C

Following are some of the weapons that are listed in Category C:

  • Those semi-automatic rimfire firearms that have a magazine capacity of fewer than ten rounds
  • Semi-automatic or pump-action shotguns that have a magazine capacity of fewer than six rounds
  • Pump-action shotguns that are equipped with a magazine capacity of fewer than five rounds
  • Semi-automatic shotguns that have a magazine capacity of fewer than five rounds

Category D

Check out some of the weapons included in Category D of weapons below. What makes this category different from Category C is that the rifles here must have higher rounds capacity. Significantly, it is the opposite with rifles in Category C which have few rounds. So, take a look at them: 

  • Non-military style self-loading center-fire rifles
  • Semi-automatic center-fire rifles
  • Weapons that closely resemble a gun in terms of the design, operation, or appearance
  • Self-loading center-fire rifles designed or modified for military use
  • Lever action shotguns that have a magazine capacity of more than five rounds
  • Semi-automatic rimfire rifles that have a magazine capacity of more than ten rounds
  • Semi-automatic shotguns that feature a magazine capacity of more than five rounds
  • Self-loading rimfire rifles that are equipped with a magazine capacity of more than ten rounds
  • Lever-action shotguns that feature a magazine capacity of more than five rounds
  • Self-loading shotguns that are equipped with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds
  • Pump-action shotguns that are equipped with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds

Types of Federal Weapon Charges

No question, federal offense connects with serious federal charges. Going against the law comes with grave consequences, primarily why you should always comply with the law. 

Following are some of the federal weapon charges that you need to know about: 

Making False Claims

When it comes to weapons and firearms, both the sellers and the buyers need to be cautious, especially in the paperwork. Making false claims, such as fraudulent claims on the paperwork during the purchase of the weapon, can eventually lead to serious consequences. 

At the same time, it is also against federal law for someone who is not eligible to possess any type of weapon or firearm. Besides that, it is also against the law to buy from unauthorized sellers. Making false claims on transactions on weapons is generally a federal weapon charge that can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail. 

Felon in Possession

Felony is already a serious crime. That’s why a felon in possession of a weapon really means a more grave federal law offense regarding weapons. With that being said, a convicted felon who has been found to own a weapon will certainly have to face serious federal charges. 

To show you a clear idea of the severity of this federal weapon charge. Here’s what a convicted Class D felon has to face the following penalties when found in possession of a firearm: 

  • up to $250,000 in fine
  • Three years in probation
  • Up to ten years in prison

Violent Crime

The violent crime that involves a firearm will automatically be categorized as a federal criminal offense. To be specific, the weapon plays a critical role, especially if it is present at the actual time of the offense. It is already considered an offense, regardless of the result. 

In fact, even if the violent crime causes no harm, injury, or death, the fact that it is an offense against the law makes it a federal violent crime that must face charges. Of course, the law is strict about this kind of federal weapon charge, so it just makes sense that it comes with serious consequences. 

Selling of Illegal Firearms 

As the name suggests, illegal means it is already an offense in the law. For that specific reason, it is illegal to sell any type of firearm. What’s more, there are other certain firearms that are not allowed to be sold just for anybody. For instance, machine guns are prohibited from being sold to non-eligible people. 

Under federal law, the illegal selling of different weapons, including those that belong in Class 4, is not allowed. Aside from that, it is also a much more serious crime to sell a weapon or a firearm to a juvenile or a convicted felon. A person who is caught in this federal weapon offense can face a jail sentence of five to ten years. 

Weapon and Firearm Trafficking 

Weapon and firearm trafficking are similar to illegal selling. Like it, this offense will also inevitably face serious charges. Without a government license to sell the firearm or a weapon, it automatically means that the devices are illegal. Someone who is caught in the crime could face criminal prosecution.

In particular, the convicted person guilty of weapon trafficking can generally suffer from a five-year stay in federal prison. 

Different Types of ATF Form

Another interesting thing related to weapons that you can know is about ATF. Technically speaking, it is a law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice. Obviously, this is an agency focused on maintaining the protection of society from illegal firearms use, illegal explosives use and storage, violent criminals, terrorism, arson and bombings, criminal institutions, illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products, and other illegal offenses regarding weapons. 

Interestingly, there are different ATF Forms that you need to know. Luckily, they are described in detail below, so you can easily learn how to differentiate them from one another. 

ATF Form 1

The ATF Form 1 is particularly utilized for manufacturing and registering NFA items. With that said, people who need this ATF form are those who want to build their own NFA products. What’s better is that this ATF form is allowed to be processed as an e-file. 

Within just a few weeks of the process, the ATF Form 1 can already be done, which makes it the most enticing and quickest form to have as a way to obtain an NFA item. 

ATF Form 3

What makes the ATF Form 3 different is that it is a tax-free way of obtaining NFA items using the transfer method between the FFL dealers. At the same time, it is the form needed for the transfer of an NFA product between a government agency and an FFL dealer. 

If the ATF Form 3 is not authorized or prioritized in the transfer, it might take a delay in the overall process. That’s why it should be on top of the priority list, as it ensures that the process follows the legal way. 

ATF Form 4

Unless the person doesn’t want to build their own NFA products, the ATF Form 4 is mostly used. As a matter of fact, this ATF form is a requirement for anyone who wants to be an NFA item weapon holder. 

Necessarily details needed in the ATF Form 4 include the name of the person who wants to own the weapon, address, fingerprint, and other important information to determine the identification. 

What you need to remember about the ATF Form 4 is that it requires a fee. As for transferring the weapon, a payment of $5. Meanwhile, there’s a fee of about $200 federal tax stamp for weapons, such as short barrel rifles, SBS, and silencers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to discover more relevant information about class 4 weapons and related topics? In that case, take a look at some of the frequently asked questions listed below. 

What class weapon is a pistol?

Pistols are included in Class 3. They belong with other weapons, such as rifles, handguns, silencers, firearm frames and receivers, and shotguns. Eligible people who can present the needed license can own pistols

What does FFL stand for?

FFL is the acronym for the Federal Firearms License needed to own a weapon legally. When it comes to wanting a firearm in your possession, you must ensure that you follow the proper process, including purchasing only from an authorized seller. After all, there are serious consequences when not complying with the laws. 

Is the AR-15 considered an assault weapon?

AR-15, along with other semi-automatic rifles, are not classified as assault weapons. In particular, machine guns are the ones considered assault weapons. Automatic weapons that can cause severe harm and injuries are highly prohibited from being owned by just anybody. In fact, those highly powerful are already restricted from civilian ownership. 

What are the deadliest bullets?

Generally, the deadliest bullets are those that can hit with high-velocity projectiles and incredible speed to take down the target. Such types of bullets can be found particularly in rifles and shotguns. 

Do you need to have a license to own a gun?

Generally speaking, the answer to this question depends on the state you reside in because there are different state laws. In fact, some allow a person to own a gun without the need for a license. On the other hand, some states strictly require a license to own a gun. That said, you need to be familiar with your state laws. 

Is it legal to buy a grenade?

A grenade, as a destructive weapon, is prohibited from being purchased by just anybody. Since it can cause significant damage and destruction, it is only legal to be bought by an eligible group of people. 

How to select the right weapon for you? 

Selecting the right weapon can be highly overwhelming because of the relevant things you need to consider. So, you might find it tough to decide. Because of that, you need to find the one that is appropriate to your body. Basically, it doesn’t mean that the most powerful weapon is the best option. 

Ultimately, a weapon suits you if you can handle it without experiencing any problems. Think about the Class of weapon that matches your category to make better decisions. 

Final Thoughts

Indeed, there are interesting and relevant pieces of information to know about what are class 4 weapons. Of course, with what they are, it just makes sense that they are considered prohibited destructive devices. Unless you are military personnel, licensed law enforcement officers, government officials, and part of eligible groups, you can’t own a class 4 weapon. 

Ultimately, the most vital thing you need to remember about class 4 weapons is that it is not easy to own one. On top of that, they are not ordinary to the point that anyone can’t just legally own them. That’s the primary reason why the laws about them are strict. 

Hopefully, the guide above gave you a clear idea about the different classes of weapons and which one is suitable to be in your possession. If you need to know more guides about guns and other related topics, visit the Survival Gear Shack website

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