Skip to comments.ATF position on pistol grip 'shotguns' creates new danger
Posted on 11/15/2010 11:27:57 PM PST by Neil E. Wright
An interpretation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that pistol grip shotguns are not shotguns has created an unforeseen legal liability for owners of such firearms. ATFs Nov. 2009 FFL Newsletter declared:
Certain commercially produced firearms do not fall within the definition of shotgun under the GCA even though they utilize a shotgun shell for ammunition. For example, firearms that come equipped with a pistol grip in place of the buttstock are not shotguns as defined by the GCA.
Heres another wrinkle, from Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars:
An October 27, 2010, letter from the Firearms Technology Branch ruled that such a firearm, with a 17" barrel and 26-1/4" overall length, was not subject to the National Firearms Act.
You can click here to read the letter.
That would seem to indicate theres no issue with violating National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) requirements, right? No worries if you own one, or want to buy one ?
Not so fast. If the pistol grip firearms are not shotguns, what are they?
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
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My local gunshop says they have to run them as a handgun. I also wonder what the ATF says about the 410/45 revolvers.
Let’s call them “muskets”. That way they’ll be protected by the Second Amendment/s
“An October 27, 2010, letter from the Firearms Technology Branch ruled that such a firearm, with a 17” barrel...”
Don’t barrels need to be 18” to be OK? Is it the grip or the combination of length and grip. And, no, this is NOT an invitation to a thousand length and grip jokes ...
How about we outlaw the ATF?
ATF letters are just opinion letters, whether viewed positively or negatively to the recipient. They’re not rulings. They’re just the notion of whatever junior G-man was opening the mail that day combined with the offhand recollection of whoever was passing by in the hallway for another cup of Yuban.
I am also aware of Mike Vanderbogh’s angles in trying to finagle our way into getting the NFRTR reopened, but he’s become more than a bit of a pain in the ass on some other gun boards I frequent. Whenever I see a link to the Sipsey Street Irregulars, I think “Oh, not this guy and his dubious ideas again...” right before they shitcan his posts.
Or open the convenience store.
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And yet another government agency that receives too much funding volunteers to have its budget cut. Let’s see we have the IRS volunteering, the EPA, and now BATF. We’ll have the budget balanced real soon at this rate.
I told him if that was the case, only documents produced on a Printing Press or using a Quill Pen are protected by the First Amendment.
So I guess total gun control can come when the ATF defines hand guns and long guns and knives etc as not arms.
If someone wants to come over and argue it with me I'll gladly use mine like a baseball bat and beat them senseless with it so that they can leave feeling satisfied that they're right about it not being a shotgun. Is that helpful?
Okay, so what are we speculating that he’s right about? Last time I saw a post of his, he was thinking that he was being clever in trying to announce that thousands of unregistered machine guns are in the hands of Americans and that The Brady Campaign should get all hot and bothered about them, but what he was really talking about were legally grandfathered semiautomatic guns designed to fire from an open bolt that have been prohibited from manufacture since 1982. His idea is that if the gun controllers petitioned the director of the BATFE for an amnesty on these guns, they’d somehow get it and thus thousands and thousands of newly transferable machine guns would be added to the NFRTR.
Oh, how original. Like nobody but Mike Vanderboegh has thought of that in the last 30 years since these guns fell under the peculiar ‘grandfather’ status.
In any case, I don’t want that man speaking for me and playing his shenanigans.
And then there’s the Rossi Ranch Hand, which looks a lot like a sawed-off, lever-action rifle, but qualifies as a pistol under their ridiculous rules. I haven’t figured that one out yet, but thought about buying one, just for spite. But I suppose there will be upcoming rules against it.
Actually that is not a shotgun ... it is classified as a handgun. Never mind that it fires .410 shotgun rounds. It's like Thompson-Center making handguns that fire rifle rounds.
Nice gun though. We never could keep one in the gun store for more than a week .... and for a long time they were hard to get from our suppliers. I spent 2 months trying to get one for a customer ... couldn't get one before I had to close down the store and sell off the inventory to another gun store after the owner died.
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Where does the 18” begin? At the open end of the breech or the barrel end of the chamber”
The bore is less than the 1/2” diameter specified in the article. A .50 caliber would fall inside these specs though.
Yeah, I don’t know why you couldn’t put a shoulder stock on your .44 mag, other than it being collapsable, that’s a no-no for any sort of public carry.
Alternative if you really want to go farther downrange with your .44, get a Henry rifle chambered in .44 mag.
Take a wooden dowell and slip it down your barrel to the breach, mark at the end of the barrel and measure. I’ve been told this is how BATF determines barrel length.
Nope, it’s a pistol chambered in .45 Long Colt. It has a rifled barrel, a rotating cylinder, it’s design was intended for the gun to be fired from the hand.
By design, .410 shot shells may be fired through this pistol, hence the length of the cylinder to handle the longer shell length of the .410.
Inversely, I wouldn’t suggest you start firing .45 Colts through your .410 shotgun.
IMHO, the only people who would actually lay down money for one of these things has never been in a gunfight in their entire life, certainly not with a shotgun. One could certainly send a lot of ammo downrange with these, unfortunately you probably didn’t put much in the center mass area.
There is a very good reason why a 12 gauge shotgun has a shoulder stock, it kicks harder than Jackie Chan.
If you need a weapon to knock over a liquor store, this is your gun. If you need one to save your life, a Remington 870 with a 18” tactical barrel is very hard to beat especially if you mount a magazine extension allowing you to carry 7 instead of 5. Personally, I load mine with with 00 buck and slugs, every other round.
thats the way it *was*...now that millions are in circulation and the vast majority of owners will never know about the 'ruling', the wrong address no-knock brigade will have lots of justification, once theyre inside and wipe the dust off the shotty in the closet...
So is my pistol grip shotgun now illegal?
Isn’t there something in a government document, probably one that has been superceded by decisions by judges, about Congress shall enact no ex post facto laws.
Silly me. I did some checking and found that the judges decided very early on that ex post facto was de facto dead on arrival.
In U.S. Constitutional Law, the definition of what is ex post facto is more limited. The first definition of what exactly constitutes an ex post facto law is found in Calder v Bull (3 US 386 ), in the opinion of Justice Chase:
1st. Every law that makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action. 2d. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed. 3d. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed. 4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offense, in order to convict the offender.
agents do have the 'right' to get home to their wife and kids ya know...
Calder v. Bull *is* Bull; consider this:
1 — By Calder v. Bull only *criminal* law can be ex post facto.
2 — The Congress can pass retroactive/retrospective [what would otherwise be ex post facto] changes to tax law/regulation because they are “regulatory” or “administrative” laws.
3 — Violations of these “regulatory”/”administrative” laws are prosecuted in *criminal* court.
Buck ‘n ball gives you the best of both worlds. Centurion starting making them a few years ago, and a couple of domestic brands are jumping aboard.
ATF measures with a rod down the barrel to the bolt face on a closed action.
Burning my house down? Well, OK, as long as my wife is in it, but no one kills my dog and gets away with it.
The “Serbu Super Shorty” and other sub-26” PGO “shotguns” are smoothbore pistols, to wit NFA AOW and subject to registration and $5 transfer tax.
The lead article enjoys its confusion over the sub-18” barrel but >26” overall length of the example given. Few PGOs have that peculiar configuration.