Man accused of shooting Mississippi deputies used ‘fully automatic’ weapons to unleash barrage of gunfire

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Mississippi man is accused of possessing two fully automatic rifles in a shootout that wounded two deputies last week.

Madison County District Attorney John Bramlett said Edgar Egbert used a “fully automatic weapon” resulting in a “barrage of gunfire” on Thursday. Sheriff’s spokesman Heath Hall confirmed the guns were “full” automatic.

A fully automatic weapon is one that will continuously fire with a single pull of the trigger. Most civilian gun owners have semi-automatic weapons that will fire a round with each successive pull of the trigger, but the action of the gun removes the spent cartridge and reloads quickly. The rate of fire of a fully automatic weapon is much faster than the average person with a semi-automatic can achieve.

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Fully automatic weapons are not illegal for civilians to possess but ownership is much more restrictive than a non-automatic weapon.

It was not clear if Egbert’s weapons were legally owned or not.

The Clarion Ledger reports state and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials say the use of such weapons in the commission of a crime is extremely unusual.

Illegally possessing or using a fully automatic gun carries stiff federal penalties under The National Firearms Act. The state Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

Egbert is jailed for now on charges including kidnapping and attempted murder of law enforcement.