Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An excellent explanation of the fix that ATF has gotten itself (and millions of pistol-grip shotgun owners) in.

Mossberg 500 Cruiser. Got one of these? Well, you're now a potential felon in possession of a destructive device.
From ARFcom.
I looked to see if someone had posted an explanation of the ATF screw-up and didn't see it clearly explained anywhere. Sorry if this is a repeat, but here is what the situation appears to be.
First key point: "Pistol gripped shotguns" are not shotguns under the NFA due to not being designed to fire from the shoulder.
26 U.S.C. § 5845(d): The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.
Second key point: All weapons with barrels greater than one-half inch in diameter are destructive devices unless otherwise exempted.
26 U.S.C. § 5845(f): The term “destructive device” means .. any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes;
Do you see the ATF screw-up yet?
The problem is that pistol-gripped shotguns have been sold for many years, but the ATF has just realized that NFA defines them as destructive devices. Why is this?
1: They have a barrel of more than one-half inch in diameter.
2: They cannot qualify for the sporting purpose exception in 5845(f)(2) since they are not "shotguns" (no shoulder stock).
It appears that back when ATF declared pistol gripped shotguns to not be "shotguns" nobody realized that would eliminate the destructive device exception. Apparently someone has now looked at this more closely and realized that all those Mossberg Cruisers and Pistol Gripped 870s are actually destructive devices and the ATF has no good way out of the situation. Hence, they are quietly looking for some legislative changes to the NFA to make the problem go away.


Anonymous said...

Why the heck does a pistol grip make a shotgun more lethal and "scary"??? Wouldn't a more comfortable grip enable better aim and control and thus, less chance an innocent bystander is shot instead of the bad guy or bad gal?

Galaxie_Man said...

Quoted from the blog post: "Hence, they are quietly looking for some legislative changes to the NFA to make the problem go away."

I have a better solution:

1). Legislatively make the ATF go away.

2). Repeal all federal firearms laws, especially GCA 1968 and NFA 1934

3). Embrace the 2nd Amendment as the law of the land concerning weapon possession by the citizens.

4). Tougher criminal statutes and mandatory prison sentences with no parole for crimes committed with a weapon.

Anonymous said...

A shotgun with a standard butt stock is much more controllable for self defense than one with a pistol grip, anyway. For close quarter use, just tuck the butt stock into your armpit. It is much more controllable that way than with a pistol grip.

Anonymous said...

Precedent, that GD word, and ATF WILL WIN!!
I give you "The Streetsweeper" etc.
like it or not!! Lota 4473's out there for PG shotguns and fhey will use the same Tactic, Procedure, Method!!

Anonymous said...

I can think of some changes to the NFA..... ;-)

Anonymous said...

this is getting ridiculous. What about the Winchester 1300 that came with an interchangeable shoulder stock OR a pistol grip? Also had 2 different barrels; a longer sport barrel a a shorter smooth bore for slugs with iron sights. So now you own a gun for 30 years and it's suddenly a problem..

Anonymous said...

Potato shooters - destructive devices.
Not designed to be shot from the shoulder, greater than half an inch and uses propellant. Utter nonsense.

The REAL corner they are in has nothing to do with banning blunderbuss and SBRs. The corner is SPORTING PURPOSE! It's a false premise upon which plainly unconstitutional code is built. Gubmint is no more empowered to ban certain arms than it is to ban certain words or even certain religions.

As the first amendment presents a line that government cannot cross so too does the Second.
As the Court said plainly in direct comparison to the First Amendment - "The Second Amendment is no different."

They have us arguing about things that don't really matter in order to keep us from focusing on what really does matter.

PO'd American said...

Stop the futking insanity. Would all of the mentally defective NRA and Gubermit Trolls just go the hell away.

I posted this comment on another thread to the A$$hole troll that insists on badgering Mike and everyone on this forum. I still stand by what I said earlier:

PO'd American said...

Anonymous said...

So PO'd American, do you know whether the proposed changes to the "sporting purposes" test would have expanded gun availability, or reduced it?

Nobody - not the author, commenters, nobody - seems be able to say either way. That would be a handy bit of information to have before I can get upset about something.

Go away troll. You add nothing to this conversation by making statements such as "does sporting purposes expand gun availability or reduce it." I can read the 2nd amendment to you, but I can't comprehend it for you.

April 13, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Jimmy the Saint said...

"Second key point: All weapons with barrels greater than one-half inch in diameter are destructive devices unless otherwise exempted."

So a pistol-grip Cruiser in .410 is perfectly legit. Good to know, I suppose.

Jimmy the Saint said...

@Anonymous: "Why the heck does a pistol grip make a shotgun more lethal and "scary"???"

Because you can, in theory, hide it under a trenchcoat and have a concealed shotgun.

Anonymous said...

Who wants a crappy Made in Mexico Mossberg anyway?

Miles said...

"....and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell."

I think that this last part of 5845(f) is where Uncle will to cover hisself to avoid the problem.

Yes, I read 'such' as referring to the defined 'shotgun', and probably a deactivated one at that, but lawyers parse, and federal lawyers can parse exceedingly fine and federal judges can go right along with those federal lawyers if it all suits their purposes.

I'll bet that they include these shotgun shell firing guns under "any such weapon".

What actually (at least) needs to occur is for the "over half inch bore diameter" definition of DD to go away.

Maybe much more of the NFA as well

Oregon Hobo said...

Anyone remember the recent BATFE ruling that shouldering one of those SIG AR pistol braces constitutes "redesigning" it into a shoulder stock, making the pistol an SBR?

Brilliant post further on in this same Arfcom thread:


If one was to accidentally shoulder a factory PGO shotgun while firing it, would that 'designed, redesigned, made or remade and intended to be fired from the shoulder' absolve the PGO Shotgun from being classified as DD under NFA?

Laughing 'til it hurts,


Anonymous said...

They can ban it after the fact. You think I have it. Well come and get it. Don't care. Behind Enemy Lines. In Unconstitutional, collectivist, Ct. We Will Not Comply, Nor Stand Down. AAA/O.11B20.