How would you describe a gun to, oh, let’s say … Oliver Cromwell? Oliver Cromwell it is.
You’d probably say something like, “It’s a weapon from which a shot is discharged by a controlled powder explosion, usually small and hand-held, and carrying one makes you look awesome.”
But did you mention to him that a gun must also have been manufactured after 1896?
Not only is this news to Cromwell’s musket troops in English Civil War, but also to two U.S. prosecutors who could not prove that a defendant’s gun was, in fact, a gun. The weapon in question was possibly manufactured in 1880, which makes it possibly 16 years too old to be considered a firearm according to federal code.
So, Fun Fact for RAM Members:
It’s just assault if you use an arquebus, not assault with a deadly weapon. At least not here in the U.S. Who knows what kind of weaponry they still cling to in older, backwoodsier places like Denmark?
(Postscript: The guy with the mystery gun was still convicted of felony possession of ammunition … You know, for the “gun.”)