Hey that's in Australia... here in our neck of the woods I'd argue a rocket launcher would be considered a firearm under the statutory definition. But we'll just have to fight it out when that case comes along.
Well, it's a destructive device under federal law (or at least every rocket launcher I've ever seen would be). It would also meet the generic definition of a firearm under Title 18, chapter 44, U.S.C., which is nearly identical to the definition provided in the Virginia Code. So, yeah, it's probably a firearm.
Heck, in my state one part of the penal code defines "firearm" so broadly you can argue that the "wrist rocket" style slingshot qualifies.
I can't get the Aussie news story to open, but I doubt you'd have much luck getting a Virginia court to follow Aussie precedent...Anyway, as Tom said, it's regulated by the NFA, the same federal law that regulates machine guns - it's sometimes possible to get a license for such a device, but there's a large annual fee and an extensive background investigation. The chances of your "felon in possession" client having such a license are almost nil. So, beating the rap in state court would just mean that he goes to a federal pen instead - and maybe for much longer...markm
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