In most developed countries, fully-automatic firearms are restricted to law enforcement and the military. These weapons are also subject to more stringent regulations than other types of firearms. These weapons are extremely rare, and civilian ownership is typically restricted to those with deep pockets or extensive background checks. According to a 2017 ATF report, there are approximately 630,000 fully-automatic machine guns in the U.S., including about 4,400 in Mississippi.
In a survey, respondents were asked whether owning a firearm is necessary or not. Approximately half of those surveyed agreed that owning a firearm is a necessity, while the other half believed that owning one is a luxury. While both groups agreed that firearms are necessary, they disagreed about whether they should be regulated or not. Full-automatic firearms use a combination of features and accessories similar to semiautomatic guns.
The National Firearms Act (NFA) defines fully-automatic firearms as those that fire continuous bursts of ammunition. A semi-automatic firearm fires one round per pull. A fully-automatic gun may have a single trigger, or it can fire a burst of several rounds at one time.
A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that fires many bullets for every trigger pull. A standard firearm fires one bullet for every trigger pull. A fully-automatic firearm, on the other hand, fires multiple bullets for each trigger pull. As such, the speed of firearms is not relevant when determining whether one is a machine gun.