Ranks and Regulations of Restricted Weapons and Materials
Class Zero: Unregulated
Class Zero weapons cannot be expected by reasonable people to be significant threats to human life, though they may potentially cause harm if used with intent. Few, if any, regulations exist on Class Zero materials or weapons, and use of them in a crime does not typically constitute any greater punishment than the base crime itself warrants.
Class One: Potentially Harmful
Class One weapons or materials are not designed for use in self defense or as a weapon, but do present a clear and obvious means to cause harm against human beings. Use of a Class One material against a human in facilitating a crime constitutes assault with a deadly weapon and potentially attempted murder, even if the device in question is not ordinarily used as a weapon.
Examples include most household cleaning agents, battery acid, over the counter insecticides, tobacco, and most tools such as saws, axes, hammers, shovels, knives, firecrackers, most over the counter medication, and a wide range of other materials.
Class One materials require no license, and the majority have no restrictions on their ownership or sale. What little regulation does exist is generally only to prohibit sale to minors.
Class Two: Dangerous
Class Two materials have a primary function of being used in self defense or to directly harm another living being. Sale or possession of Class Two weapons is regulated and restricted, although individual states set their own statutes in most cases. Use of a Class Two weapon in a crime is considered use of a deadly weapon.
Examples of Class Two weapons and materials include tasers, pepper spray regardless of delivery method, flashbangs and smoke bombs, as well as alcohol and many prescription medications.
Secondary lethal weapons such as bows, crossbows, and large knives, swords and other weapons are also considered Class Two weapons in most states, with far lighter restrictions than Class Three weapons, but more than the mostly unregulated Class One.
Some restricted substances (such as Marijuana) are considered Class Two substances, while most illicit drugs are Class Three.
Class Three: Significant Threat
Class Three weapons are primary weapons, or substances that can be modified into extremely harmful weapons. Class Three materials tend to be strictly regulated by the government, with minimum sentencing requirements and little interest in plea deals from the prosecution. In general, it is illegal to own any Class Three material without a permit, and some materials are not permitted at all.
Most firearms are considered Class Three weapons, as are almost all illegal narcotics. If used in the commission of a violent crime, vehicles are considered Class Three weapons, as are incendiary devices such as a Molotov cocktail or almost any case of arson.
Class Four: Military Grade
Class Four materials are considered to have little purpose save as a weapon against other human beings, or industrial materials which are useful in businesses, but can be extremely deadly if used for illegal purposes. While some Class Four weapons and materials are legal for civilian ownership, these are exceptions to the rule, and generally require specific permits to possess.
Class Four weapons include grenades, rocket launches, most assault weapons, many chemical fertilizers and industrial pesticides, a number of highly toxic or highly radioactive materials, chemical weapons such as mustard gas, light military vehicles, and anything that could reasonably be expected to indiscriminately kill several individuals at a time.
Class Five: Heavy Ordinance
Class Five materials and equipment are almost always illegal for civilian ownership. Heavy military vehicles and mounted weapons (such as tanks, attack helicopters, and SAM batteries), powerful chemical or biological agents (Sarin gas, weaponized Anthrax), bunker-buster missiles, and most materials with little purpose aside killing lots of people. In general, ownership of these materials is strictly regulated by the highest levels of government and only permitted to specific industries with specific purposes in mind.
Class Six: Military Vessel
It’s unlikely a civilian would have the resources to possess anything in this classification, ownership of these objects ceases to be a matter of traditional law, and becomes a military concern.
For the most part, Class Six is limited in scope to vessels such as battle cruisers, military submarines, and aircraft carriers, or facilities used to construct such devices. Particularly virulent (or weaponized) diseases or chemical distribution bombs can also be in this classification.
Many powerful natural phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and powerful storms can merit a Class Six response.
Class Seven: Citywide Threat
There are not, strictly speaking, any “Class Seven” materials or hardware on record. The classification is reserved for city sized weapons platforms or other individual targets with similar power scales. Some military strategists do use the term to refer to choice targets such as heavily fortified military bases and carrier groups.
Certain powerful natural events such as volcanoes or earthquakes might be destructive enough to reach this scale. These events are vanishingly rare, but make for great disaster movies.
Class Eight: Weapon of Mass Destruction
Only devices or materials/organisms capable of threatening millions of lives in a single strike fall under this classification. The use of any Class Eight weapon against any target is a violation of numerous international treaties. The ownership of materials which can build such weapons tends to be strictly regulated.
To date, atomic weapons are the only official Class Eight devices.
In theory, if the San Andreas fault drops California into the ocean, it would rank as the highest Class Eight threat on record.
Class Nine: Planetary Disaster
A theoretical classification, as it would require a weapon with a reasonable chance to end civilization (if not necessarily life) on an entire continent. Even the possession of such a thing is cause enough to start World War Three. To date, no known example of such a weapon has ever existed, but the international community has numerous plans and treaties in place in case such a threat arises.
The act of attempting to create a Class Nine weapon is cause for war.
Class Ten: Doomsday Scenario
Further theoretical classification, a true doomsday device which has a high likelihood of driving the human race into extinction. Nobody actually believes they’ll ever see a Class Ten weapon in human hands, so it stands more as a “response plan” rank used by world powers against outside threats.
This classification mainly deals in celestial events that may come to threaten the planet, such as massive asteroids, hostile extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional contact, nasty solar flares, or other cosmic scale forces.
Class Eleven: That’s All, Folks
“Put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.”
A tongue in cheek ranking which someone added to the list to signify anything which can destroy entire solar systems. There are no plans to deal with such an event.