Weapons can include any item that may inflict harm on another person. In fact, any item which could be used to gain victim compliance through fear, during the commission of a crime, could be considered a weapon. Traditional weapons include guns and knives, but weapons could also include blunt objects or heavy objects such as a tire iron.
Non lethal weapons vs. Lethal weapons
Non lethal weapons are those which are used for tactical purposes, such as the use of tear gas which forces a suspect to exit a building. Lethal weapons are those which can kill an individual, such as firearms or knives.
Automatic weapons continuously fire bullets while the shooter holds down the trigger. The weapon automatically reloads as a result of the action of pulling the trigger.
Automatic weapons vs. semi-automatic weapons
Automatic weapons require the shooter to hold down the trigger once it has been pulled and semi automatic weapons require the shooter to pull the trigger for each bullet they wish to fire. However, in both cases, the weapon automatically loads itself, until there is no more ammunition.
SWAT weapons tend to be the same type of weapons used in military operations. The weapons would likely be automatic or semi automatic, so that the SWAT team does not have to be concerned with reloading their weapons. SWAT weapons are used in dangerous situations, where the suspect may have hostages or powerful weapons.
Replica weapons vs. homemade weapons
Replica weapons are made to look like a specific weapon, usually and antique. Replicas may or may not function, as they are sometimes used simply as a model of the original weapon. Homemade weapons may include replica weapons,but they may also include weapons such as bow and arrows, which are used for hunting.
BB guns are often made of steel and they are meant to fire small metal pellets or BBs. These guns may be used for hunting or target practice, but they are not effective with larger game.
Explosives can be used as a weapon, but they can also be used in celebrations and construction projects. Explosives used as a weapon, can include bombs made from household materials. However, explosives used by the military often include chemicals which are only available to those with a special permit.
Airsoft weapons are replicas, which use compressed air to fire plastic ammunition. These weapons are used for recreational purposes, such as war games. The weapons are also used during training exercises for the military and law enforcement agencies.