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ATF position on pistol grip 'shotguns' creates new danger
Gun Rights Examiner ^ | November 14, 2010 | David Codrea

Posted on 11/18/2010 6:18:55 PM PST by optiguy

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. ATF’s 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.

Here’s 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 there’s 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?

The NFA Owners Association points us to the only “legal” definition seemingly available with which to classify these firearms (click on link for “National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, as amended” to open up the text):

[T]aken at face value, a "pistol grip firearm" with a bore diameter larger than 1/2" in diameter is a "Destructive Device" under the NFA, unless the Attorney General determines that it is "a shotgun . . . generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes." By determining that a "pistol grip firearm" is not a shotgun, it is difficult to understand how current law would not classify such as firearm as a Destructive Device."

A “Destructive Device”?

"Any 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." Source: 26 U.S.C, Section 5845(f).

Which means registration on the NFRTR would be required. But there’s no way to do that retroactively, is there?

Per Vanderboegh:

It appears there are only two solutions: (1) change the law to revert things as they were before ATF made the foregoing rulings, or (2) establish an amnesty period so millions of "Pistol Grip Firearms" can be lawfully registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) system.

Otherwise, he notes:

This action has apparently created millions of unregistered Destructive Devices, currently possessed by millions of law-abiding gun owners who do not realize they now illegally possess unregistered NFA firearms.

That is, depending on what ATF chooses to do next. Or what they have forced on them.

But certainly this is all hysteria and an unjustified over-reaction to some "poor wording"? Some would counsel us not to worry, broadly assuring:

There's no way these'll turn into NFA-controlled guns or suddenly become illegal.

Let’s hope such confidence is well placed, and the final word, and more authoritative than, say, the implications of ATF Ruling 95-3 (bearing in mind that per ATF, the pistol grip firearms in question are NOT shotguns, so any determination that they are “particularly suitable for sporting purposes” would be irrelevant by their own definition.)

What a confusing mess.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aow; atf; banglist; pistol; shotguns
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Once again, the BATFE show their brilliance.
1 posted on 11/18/2010 6:18:59 PM PST by optiguy
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To: marktwain

Ping.


2 posted on 11/18/2010 6:19:45 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: optiguy

Actually it is a brilliant tactic to scare and induce law-abiding citizens into registering shotguns;the tyrants don’t try to impose all their whims UNTIL AFTER disarming the people.This is just another little step towards that goal.


3 posted on 11/18/2010 6:25:09 PM PST by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: hoosierham

WE THE PEOPLE are being cornered. I agree.


4 posted on 11/18/2010 6:26:26 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: optiguy

Is a flare gun a destructive device now?


5 posted on 11/18/2010 6:27:47 PM PST by smokingfrog (Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.)
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To: optiguy
At this rate they can define a weapon any way they chose in order to regulate it out of existence.

What part of;
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

6 posted on 11/18/2010 6:28:26 PM PST by OneVike (Just a Christian waiting to go home.......)
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To: optiguy

Who the hell takes a “pistol grip” shotgun hunting? Not me. A pistol gripped shot gun is strictly for personal protection in the home.

So BATF what are you going to do? Declare my pistol Gripped Shotgun an explosive device, or some other classification?

So I can’t sell it in the current form...I’ll put the stock and foregrip back on it, and sell the pistol grips with it to the new owner.

Who in the hell do these people think that they are? Time to get these RAT bastards out of our government. March through the institutions and do an ideological purity test on all government employees. Your a limited rights, anti-gun, welfare state, believer and you’re gone.


7 posted on 11/18/2010 6:28:45 PM PST by Ouderkirk (Democrats...the party of Slavery, Segregation, Sodomy, and Sedition)
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To: optiguy

So something like this? :-)

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b63/csmwltd/mdr20.jpg


8 posted on 11/18/2010 6:28:54 PM PST by Kent C
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To: optiguy

oh well, once we’re ‘criminals’ anyways...the rest are FReebies...


9 posted on 11/18/2010 6:29:07 PM PST by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: optiguy

Isn’t the new head of the ATF a gun-grabber?

Maybe their just laying the foundation for the conservative victory in the next election cycle.

We’ve got to make sure our pro-gun union, Independent and Democrat voters know this. It’ll swing another election our way.


10 posted on 11/18/2010 6:31:13 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Kent C

Saiga makes a good gun...so I hear ;)


11 posted on 11/18/2010 6:35:41 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: optiguy

They mention a shotgun with a 17” barrel. If you go buy a Mossberg 500, for example, the shortest barrel you can put on it is 18.5”. I’ve seen plenty of these with pistol grips on them, but they don’t have 17” barrels.

Where are these 17” barreled shotguns?


12 posted on 11/18/2010 6:36:18 PM PST by Disambiguator
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To: 1010RD

He hasn’t been confirmed yet. As if that really matters these days. But yes, Freeper marktwain posted an atricle this morning about him.


13 posted on 11/18/2010 6:38:23 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Disambiguator

http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/tromix-converted-saiga-12-s17-short-barrel-shotgun-p-1261.html


14 posted on 11/18/2010 6:40:36 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kent C

Wish I could have one of those in my state *drool*


15 posted on 11/18/2010 6:40:40 PM PST by catbertz
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To: optiguy

Sounds like they’re getting ready for some raids on Day Care Centers.


16 posted on 11/18/2010 6:42:55 PM PST by muawiyah (GIT OUT THE WAY ~ REPUBLICANS COMIN' THROUGH)
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To: Ouderkirk

As a gunstore owner and gunsmith I must disagree with your post. There are MANY shotguns with pistol grips that are configured for hunting. They have full length buttstocks and pistol grips. The pistol grip reduces felt recoil by distributing recoil against more surface and makes the shotgun more controllable for a second shot which is particularly helpful when turkey hunting, etc. I am old school and do not use a pistol gripped shotgun, but power to those who do.
However, when I was a younger man, and a member of an entry team, I did carry a shotgun with a pistol grip.


17 posted on 11/18/2010 6:44:33 PM PST by ExpatGator (I hate Illinois Nazis!)
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To: AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; ...

Thanks optiguy.
[T]aken at face value, a "pistol grip firearm" with a bore diameter larger than 1/2" in diameter is a "Destructive Device" under the NFA, unless the Attorney General determines that it is "a shotgun . . . generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes." By determining that a "pistol grip firearm" is not a shotgun, it is difficult to understand how current law would not classify such as firearm as a Destructive Device... [That is] Any 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." Source: 26 U.S.C, Section 5845(f).

18 posted on 11/18/2010 6:44:42 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: optiguy

That’s an NFA firearm. Those are already niche items, not something you see every day.

The article makes it sound like there are millions of these out there in private hands just begging for an ATF raid.


19 posted on 11/18/2010 6:46:10 PM PST by Disambiguator
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To: optiguy

I suppose it sounds redundant:

“Isn’t the new head of the Gun-Grabbers a gun-grabber?”


20 posted on 11/18/2010 6:51:43 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: smokingfrog

Please do not bring one to to SoCal on a hot windy day and find out.


21 posted on 11/18/2010 6:52:57 PM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: Disambiguator
Exactly. In my state, a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18” is strictly verboten.
22 posted on 11/18/2010 6:53:25 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.)
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To: optiguy

Any law which leaves itself to “reinterpretation” as the F-troop does with gun laws is a bad law and should be repealed entirely. Not amended. And those pencil pushers who spend their days doing the reinterpretation should lose their jobs (at least).


23 posted on 11/18/2010 6:53:25 PM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Disambiguator

Having an NFA weapon is perfectly legal in most states. Having it re-classified as AOW or destructive device presents a whole new set of problems for the owner. As owners, we have submitted to FBI, local law enforcement as well as Treasury. The last thing we need is one more hoop to jump through. It’s bad enough that I have to worry about a non-NFA weapon slam firing and being deemed to be a machine gun, or owning a semi-auto AR and some AFT flunkie deeming my kids air soft rifle parts to be interchangeable and thus sending me to the slammer if he thinks it will further his career. We don’t need any more bullshit.


24 posted on 11/18/2010 6:57:56 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: optiguy

“Saiga makes a good gun...so I hear ;)”

Get the Tromix conversion.


25 posted on 11/18/2010 6:58:33 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: SVTCobra03

See post #8.


26 posted on 11/18/2010 7:04:09 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: optiguy

Ok, now that they have said that, with their record of writing laws that are unconstitutional, how long do you think it will be, before they look at all those Taurus Judges out there, including that new Judge rifle, and wonder what they could do? They are .410ga./.45 LC. Mighty close to that definition, aren’t they?

We have already ridden ourselves of the Prohibition. The federal government legally taxes tobacco. The Supreme Court ruled on the 2nd Amendment. The ATF has no definable existence, now. And yes, I would say that to their faces, with a smile, and speak the word, “Waco!”


27 posted on 11/18/2010 7:08:33 PM PST by Prussianone
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To: Ouderkirk
Who the hell takes a “pistol grip” shotgun hunting? Not me. A pistol gripped shot gun is strictly for personal protection in the home.

Johnny Rutherford, Indy Racing champion, hunted with a pistol grip shotgun because he had broken his wrist racing.

28 posted on 11/18/2010 7:12:25 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: optiguy

So do the pistol grips make the shotgun shoot harder?

Is it like putting speed equipment decals on your car gives it more horsepower?


29 posted on 11/18/2010 7:12:42 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate: Republicans freed the slaves Month.)
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To: BenLurkin

Amen to that


30 posted on 11/18/2010 7:20:36 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom REMEMBER FREE REPUBLIC IN YOUR WILL. I DID)
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To: optiguy
Would the Taurus "judge" be considered a pistol grip shotgun? I just bought one a few months back. Pretty fun gun!


31 posted on 11/18/2010 7:21:48 PM PST by diverteach (If I find liberals in heaven after my death.....I WILL BE PISSED!!!)
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To: optiguy
“Once again, the BATFE show their brilliance.”

My thoughts exactly.

What a bunch of DOLTS.

32 posted on 11/18/2010 7:22:23 PM PST by Gabrial (The Whitehouse Nightmare will continue as long as the Nightmare is in the Whitehouse)
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To: optiguy
This is much more complicated than the post leads on. First, this gun is special not because it has a pistol grip, but because it never had a buttstock. It was manufactured with a pistol grip in place of the buttstock. I bet most people here with shotguns that have pistol grips also have buttstocks.

Secondly, I don't understand how it's not excluded under the destructive device's large caliber weapon subsection by the following:

This portion of the definition specifically excludes a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes.

Unless this was not designed to fire shotgun shells.
33 posted on 11/18/2010 7:23:25 PM PST by andyk (Hi, my name's Andy, and I was a BF 1942 / Desert Combat junkie.)
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To: optiguy

Wouldnt it save a lot of time if the ATF just admitted their position on all firearms is that Americans shouldnt have them?


34 posted on 11/18/2010 7:26:20 PM PST by Raider Sam (They're on our left, right, front, and back. They aint gettin away this time!)
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To: diverteach

Nope.

Check out the Circuit Judge.

http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=190&category=15&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=&CFID=2723472&CFTOKEN=94489170


35 posted on 11/18/2010 7:27:01 PM PST by Gabrial (The Whitehouse Nightmare will continue as long as the Nightmare is in the Whitehouse)
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To: optiguy
The ATF letter is wrong. A shotgun with a barrel less than eighteen inches is a NFA firearm. It's a short barreled shotgun subject to registration and a $200.00 tax. What is new here is that the BATFE is saying now that a shotgun that has a pistol grip and a bore greater than .5 inch is not "particularly suitable for sporting purposes" and is therefore a destructive device (DD). BATF did the same thing with the Street Sweeper shotguns. They gave owners a short time to either register it (they waved the $200 tax), or destroy it, or turn it in.

Some of the wording in the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) that was made part of the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA68)is very confusing. What is a defined as a firearm under the GCA68 is not a "firearm" in the NFA definitions. NFA "firearms" (that require registration) are machineguns, short-barrel rifles and shotguns, silencers and destructive devices, and "any other weapons". Any other weapons (AOW) like cane guns and briefcases that a weapon can be fired out of for example, are subject to registration and a $5.00 tax. I think the person that submitted his short-barreled shotgun for examination was trying to get away with paying the AOW $5.00 instead of $200.00 due on a short-barreled shotgun.

36 posted on 11/18/2010 7:32:14 PM PST by bruoz
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To: optiguy
"...any determination that they are “particularly suitable for sporting purposes” would be irrelevant by their own definition."

Who gives a sh1t if they're "suitable for sporting purposes?"

Where in the Second Amendment does it discuss "sporting purposes?"

Give me a good old Model 97 trench gun for quail hunting any day!
lol

37 posted on 11/18/2010 7:33:07 PM PST by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Strangely enough, grips do nothing to increase muzzle velocity or lethality. Reminds me of the pre-ban guns that had bayonet lugs. All of a sudden ATF (congress) was worried about drive-by bayonettings.


38 posted on 11/18/2010 7:35:34 PM PST by optiguy (Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.----- Ronald Reagan)
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To: andyk

This is much more complicated than the post leads on. First, this gun is special not because it has a pistol grip, but because it never had a buttstock

when I was very young, 50 or so years ago, my grandpa had arthritis in his hands and could no longer go deer hunting with us.....I made, and installed on his gun, a “pistol grip”....was it professionaly designed,no, was it beautiful,no, did it allow grandpa to resume hunting....you bet it did and he could hold his gun very steady indeed!!!!!He loved it and I loved going hunting with him!!!!!


39 posted on 11/18/2010 7:40:13 PM PST by terycarl (interested and informed)
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To: optiguy
Strangely enough, grips do nothing to increase muzzle velocity

I wonder what would happen if we put "Mooneyes" and "Thrush Muffler" decals on our shotguns.

40 posted on 11/18/2010 7:44:40 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate: Republicans freed the slaves Month.)
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To: optiguy

They can go f themselves.


41 posted on 11/18/2010 7:47:15 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: optiguy

Good thing I have my Mossberg “just in case” 12 gauge buried in my yard in the waterproof cylinder it came in. I have the location in my head and the fill the subdivision developer used for our lots was road ditch clean outs, so it’s full of junk metal.

See it at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=193BtueZxfs


42 posted on 11/18/2010 7:48:02 PM PST by RicocheT
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To: optiguy
IMHO the current regime is using the “sporting purposes” wording in the GCA to effectively ban shotguns equipped with a pistol grip (not full stocks with a pistol grip). Clinton did the same thing to the Street Sweeper and Bush Sr. used it to block “black rifle” imports.
43 posted on 11/18/2010 8:01:20 PM PST by bruoz
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To: optiguy

“Saiga makes a good gun...so I hear ;)”

I’ve heard the same. And I hear Arsenal makes a really nice conversion :-)

http://www.arsenalinc.com/news-sgl41.htm

I’ve never had a misfire and all in the black from 20 yards with birdshot! Although I have 000 buck and sabot in the mag.


44 posted on 11/18/2010 8:50:16 PM PST by Kent C
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To: catbertz

“Wish I could have one of those in my state *drool*”

Some day.... soon perhaps.


45 posted on 11/18/2010 8:51:46 PM PST by Kent C
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To: USNBandit

“Johnny Rutherford, Indy Racing champion, hunted with a pistol grip shotgun because he had broken his wrist racing.”

A wrist injury is why I have vertical grips on my long guns (left wrist/right handed) plus a crimson trace on the AR vertical grip ;-) And why I can no longer play the guitar easily - same ‘twist’. Anyone interested in a Gibson ES 335? :-)


46 posted on 11/18/2010 9:02:25 PM PST by Kent C
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To: Prussianone
.410 bore:


47 posted on 11/18/2010 9:22:28 PM PST by I see my hands (How's that ballot box working out for you?)
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To: ExpatGator
There are MANY shotguns with pistol grips that are configured for hunting. They have full length buttstocks and pistol grips. The pistol grip reduces felt recoil by distributing recoil against more surface and makes the shotgun more controllable for a second shot which is particularly helpful when turkey hunting, etc.

If I understand correctly, it's the guns with ONLY a pistol grip and no stock ATF is making this [moronic] ruling about.

48 posted on 11/18/2010 11:15:08 PM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Kent C

I shattered my radius on the job with the Navy, and while I can still shoot anything I want, I do have to limit the number of pistol rounds I shoot.


49 posted on 11/18/2010 11:34:35 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: optiguy
Something is *odd* here.

First, this newsletter is from Nov of 2009. And I get every piece of paper or CD the BATF sends out as I have a Class 03 license and they send me everything. And I didn't get this newsletter. (I read everything from my friends at the BATF.)

Secondly, 'pistol grip' shotguns are still being made and sold by every shotgun manufacturer in existence. If they were 'illegal' the BATF would be all over the manufacturers and firearm dealers like flies on ____.

I'm NOT saying this isn't true (as in fake), its just *odd* that a one year old newsletter is NOW becoming 'news'. And again, I can't recall seeing this newsletter at all.
50 posted on 11/19/2010 4:26:29 AM PST by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
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