A term used in the United States to describe various military style rifles that have certain features or names.
The term “Assault Weapon” is commonly referred to in many gun control issues, and is often confused with the term Assault Rifle. In California, the definition of an Assault Weapon is: A semiautomatic, center-fire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following: 1. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon. 2. A thumbhole stock. 3. A folding or telescoping stock. 4. A grenade launcher or flare launcher. 5. A flash suppressor. 6. A forward pistol grip For the full text of the law you can go to: https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/genchar2 The features that make a semi-automatic rifle an “Assault Weapon” are for the most part cosmetic and change the appearance of the firearm without changing the function. Contrary to popular belief, rifles in California that are classified as “Assault Weapons” do not have more firepower capability or tactical advantage than rifles that do not have the features listed above. The following link has examples of different rifles that are often referred to as “Assault Weapons” even though they are not: http://shop.cordeliagunexchange.com/index.php/rifles.html AR-15 rifles are commonly confused with the M16. Note that none of these are classified as Assault Weapons in California: http://shop.cordeliagunexchange.com/index.php/rifles/ar-15-rifles.html AK pattern rifles are commonly confused with the AK-47. Note that none of these are classified as Assault Weapons in California: http://shop.cordeliagunexchange.com/index.php/rifles/ak-rifles.html For more detailed information and history go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_weapon