Paramilitary Weapons

Fully automatic weapons are illegally stockpiled by paramilitary groups.

Assault rifles are the preferred weapons of America’s paramilitary extremists, according to Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit public charity dedicated to decreasing the annual number of deaths attributable to guns. Additional paramilitary weapons include knives, bayonets and grenades. Study local and state weapons laws prior to obtaining any paramilitary weapons. Consult qualified experts before handling weapons.


Submachine guns are fully-automatic weapons that fire pistol ammunition, usually 9 mm rounds. Many militant groups stockpile submachine guns, although fully automatic firearms are difficult to legally obtain. Semi-automatic guns are more readily available but less coveted.

Automatic weapons can be legally purchased after obtaining a Class III Federal Firearms License, although the licensing process is rather detailed, involving fingerprints, photographs and background investigations. Once licenses are granted, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms visits the licensee’s home to ensure he has a theft-resistant safe and security system that meets standards. Paramilitary organizations commonly obtain comparatively easily available assault rifles and convert them into fully automatic weapons.

Violence Policy Center reports gun control laws are lax as a whole, widely differing from one geographic region to the next, resulting in paramilitary groups obtaining large numbers of guns from sources such as pawn shops. Assault weapons commonly obtained include the AR-15A2, M100P carbine, Ruger Mini-14, Street Sweeper and Uzi.


Trench knives are available at gun shows and by mail order. They combine brass knuckles with large fixed blades that are usually either dagger or bowie style. Knuckle protection is equipped with lugs or spikes, maximizing damage that can be inflicted by punches. Trench knives are illegal to possess virtually everywhere in the U.S. due to brass knuckles incorporated into the design.

READ  Mesquite Texas Attractions


Bayonets were originally mounted on rifle barrels but evolved to be used in hand-to-hand combat. They come in diverse sizes and shapes, including World War I models resembling short swords. More recent models include the U.S. Marine Corps Ka-Bar combat knife. Spike bayonets continue to be used in combination with rifles, attached to hinges under barrels or inserted directly into muzzles.

Bayonets usually have single sharp edges and are very durable. Their practicality as weapons is debated, however, as they are bulky and require certain levels of skill to be used effectively.


Hand grenades, rifle grenades and grenade cartridges are weapons used among paramilitary groups. Preferred types of such grenades include fragmentation, gas, stun and smoke.

Fragmentation grenades are heavy and very deadly when used within enclosed areas. Gas grenades are usually used in canister form and include tear and nerve gas. Stun grenades fall into two categories, stun ball and flash bang, and are used in critical crowd-control situations, such as prison riots. Smoke grenades are used for simulating fires and signaling allies.