Definition Series - Part 5: "Long-Arm"
by Kirk Lawson

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To continue our series of definitions for the firearms community, let's take a look at the term "long-arm."

Long-arm is not a legal definition, at least not under federal law. It is more than slang but less than a "term of art" or a "technical term."

It is a descriptive term and generally refers to any shoulder fired gun inclusive of rifles, short-barreled rifles, shotguns, and short-barreled shotguns. Sometimes it may be used to refer to a "long" gun which still fits the legal definition of a rifle or shotgun but which has no shoulder stock or has a folding stock.

Examples of "long-arms:"
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[M1903 Springfield Rifle - By Curiosandrelics - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9489424]

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[Mossberg 500 Cruiser]

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[Semi-Auto AK variant with foldable stock]

Note that this term does not speak to legal restrictions which may be placed on certain firearms based on length or other features. It is merely a common and slightly flexible term in the firearms community.