Firearms Myth #7: All Guns Are Created Equally

flintlock pistol    equal sign     m240    question mark

A lot of times, the media and politicians conflate different types of guns together, or just talk about guns as whole even when what they say does not apply to all guns, such as “AR-15 machine gun” or “AR-15 assault shotgun” or “sniper handgun”, and so on. Every gun is unique and has its own special features that make it into what it is. Furthermore, firearms have distinct classifications for the purpose of grouping similar firearms together in order to create norms surrounding that classification (or to make laws in the government’s case). Here are a few different classifications of firearms:

remington 870 Saiga12

shotshell shotgun shells

Kel Tec KSG double barrel shotgun


  •  Long guns
  • Typically with an 18″ barrel that shoot shells filled with loads of varying sizes and amounts of lead projectiles.
  • Different types of shotguns include: pump action, break action, semi automatic, and sometimes bolt action.
  • Typically very short range, can reach medium range with certain types of buckshot or slugs.

m14     AR 50


  • Long guns
  • Typically between 16-21″ barrels that
  • Fire larger, long range cartridges.
  • Different types of rifles include bolt action, semi automatic, and sometimes break action.
  • Generally medium size and weight.
  • Long Range.

1911    tec 9     Colt peacemaker


  • Handheld compact firearms that fire smaller rounds.
  • Most handguns are revolvers (single action or double action), hammer operated (double and/or single action) and striker firer action.
  • Short Range.

m249 SAW RPK

Light Machine Guns:

  • Large capacity, high rate of fire guns with large calibers designed for suppressive fire.
  • The different types of light machine guns are typically closed bolt or open bolt designed.
  • They are generally very large, bulky, and heavy.
  • Medium Range.

Kriss_Vector p90

Sub Machine Guns:

  • Compact, extremely high rate of fire guns that are designed for close quarters combat, conceal-ability and personal defense.
  • These are also usually open or closed bolt.
  • Generally small and very light and fire either handgun rounds or shortened rifle rounds.
  • Short Range.

Bushmaster ACR FN fs2000

Assault Rifles:

  • Essentially are the same as rifles but are fully automatic and more ergonomic.
  • They also are more common as carbines (have a barrel shorter than 16″).
  • Generally medium size and weight.
  • Medium Range.

Given this information, hopefully it is easy to see that not all guns are the same. This is the reason why conflation of all firearms is inaccurate, and trying to make laws that apply to all firearms will not be effective.

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