14-409. Machine guns and other like weapons.

(a) As used in this section, "machine gun" or "submachine gun" means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to manufacture, sell, give away, dispose of, use or possess machine guns, submachine guns, or other like weapons as defined by subsection (a) of this section: Provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to the following:

Banks, merchants, and recognized business establishments for use in their respective places of business, who shall first apply to and receive from the sheriff of the county in which said business is located, a permit to possess the said weapons for the purpose of defending the said business; officers and soldiers of the United States Army, when in discharge of their official duties, officers and soldiers of the militia when called into actual service, officers of the State, or of any county, city or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties; the manufacture, use or possession of such weapons for scientific or experimental purposes when such manufacture, use or possession is lawful under federal laws and the weapon is registered with a federal agency, and when a permit to manufacture, use or possess the weapon is issued by the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is located; a person who lawfully possesses or owns a weapon as defined by subsection (a) of this section in compliance with 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53, 5801-5871. Nothing in this subdivision shall limit the discretion of the sheriff in executing the paperwork required by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for such person to obtain the weapon. Provided, further, that any bona fide resident of this State who now owns a machine gun used in former wars, as a relic or souvenir, may retain and keep same as his or her property without violating the provisions of this section upon his reporting said ownership to the sheriff of the county in which said person lives.

(c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class I felony. (1933, c. 261, s. 1; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 1965, c. 1200; 1989, c. 680, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1243; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-456, s. 33(b); 2011-268, s. 9.)