In the purge announcement, it states, "all weapons grade 4 and below have been authorized".

Were there any weapons that were above grade 4 that were used in The First Purge?


3 Answers 3


No weapons higher than class 4 were used.

A very well researched blog post helps to define what the different classes of weapons are. The article cites the National Firearms Act of 1934 for its definitions.

Question: What are Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on Weapons and an example of each?

Answer: I will answer this question correctly and as best as I can. The NFA (National Firearms Act enacted on June 26th, 1934) classifies all weapons that are sold, manufactured, imported, exported or owned by Americans, into 4 major Categories. A Weapon is defined as: any instrument or tool that can be fashioned and wielded for the purpose of killing (animal or human) or inflicting bodily harm on others. It is by this definition that the TSA is able to call a box knife (a tool most commonly used for cutting boxes and tape off of packages) a weapon, since it was used one time to hijack an airplane. Now that you have some background on what a weapon is, it's time to define the different classes of weapons as outlined by the NFA.


Class IV Weapons - The last and highest class of Weapons, sometimes referred to as Class 4, covers what the NFA calls, Destructive Devices or DD's. Destructive Devices are bombs, grenades, nuclear weapons, flame throwers, dynamite, rocket launchers, tanks, Javelin Missile Launcher, Harrier Jets, and so on and so forth. Class 4 Weapons or DD's cover anything that explodes, shoots flames, or launches an exploding device. Class IV weapons are illegal to own, manufacture, sell, trade, import, export, or own parts for, by any American citizen other than properly licensed LEO's, Military, and government officials.

Read the full article

Using this definition, it is safe to say that no weapons higher than class 4 were used in The First Purge or any of the other Purge films. Its seems that the point of this rule is to basically allow any and all types of weapons. I do not know what would be considered higher than class 4 as it is not defined in the National Firearms Act nor is it defined by the film. I would imagine biological and nuclear warfare probably would be classified as above class 4.

  • Excellent answer. I did want to point out that the 2nd paragraph of the highlighted Answer says that nuclear weapons are Class IV. That REALLY brings into question what sort of weapons are higher than Class IV! Biological, chemical, and possibly gaseous weapons make sense. Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 1:34
  • You're right I missed that part. Although, I kind of wonder if the blog author added that of his own accord given the National Firearms Act is from 1934 which was before nuclear weapons existed. Unless there was an amendment later on which added it to the definition of Destructing Devices.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 1:41
  • Good call about nuclear weapons not existing when the Act was written. The author probably did add them in, thinking they fit the definition -- "Anything that ... launches an exploding device." Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 12:53
  • Found this via google. I'm an attorney who is something of an expert in NFA stuff and the person who wrote this is obviously unfamiliar with the NFA. The NFA didn't have a DD category until 1968 when it was added in an omnibus crime bill. Secondly, there are only two main categories of weapons in the US- Title 1 (rifles, pistols, shotguns) and Title 2 (MG, silencer, DD, SBR, SBS, AOW). Flamethrowers are not regulated. As far as I can tell, it's just a made up category for the movie.
    – Jim W
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 2:34

Reading this years later and, yes, class IV weapons do include nuclear devices, and it is actually possible to import nuclear weapons and/or weapons grade nuclear material through the ATF.

As for The Purge, I have no idea how a willy nilly civilian could get any nuclear payload but it would be technically legal to detonate it during the event.

My personal favorite would be a fully loaded R-39 Rif, aka SS-N-20 Sturgeon by Americans. It is a Russian three-stage ICBM that has the capacity of ten smaller individual 500 kiloton nuclear warheads, capable of destroying a small city each and irradiating hundreds of miles of estate, depending on the area.

  • One could look into the smoke detector boy...who killed himself with radiation poisoning collecting years worth of radioactive materials from smoke detectors...If there is a will, there is a way :) Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 9:59

We never see any class 4 weapons used by the regular purgers in the movies, so I think that it was class 4 and up that were banned.

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