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View Full Version : I Need Help With A Sawed Off Shotgun Question.


GUNS4WORK
07-29-2006, 8:52 PM
I Have A Friend Who Is Facing A Couple Of Charges He Needs Help With.

Charge 1: Possesion Of A Sawed Of Double Barreled black Powder Shotgun. Is There A Law That Covers Black Powder?

Charge 2: A Little More Complicated... Had A High End Sxs Shot Gun That Was Dis-assembled And Separated Because Someone Had Cut The Barrel To 17". (he Kept The Action For Sale Later, But Forgot To Destroy The Barrel) DOES CONSTRUCTUAL(SP?) INTENT APPLY TO SHORT BARRLED SHOTGUNS OR JUST FULL AUTO?

He's Due In Court In A Few Days. Any Help Would Be Great. I Need Actual Doj/atf Law If Possible.

Thanks
Chris

anotherone
07-29-2006, 9:08 PM
The best thing for your friend to do is to immediately contact an attorney. Nobody here is going to render any specific legal advice and an attorney will be much more helpful in court than anyone on the board.

PonyFiveO
07-29-2006, 9:11 PM
WOW Did someone rat him out? :confused:

GUNS4WORK
07-29-2006, 9:18 PM
No, Long Story. A Renter(friend) Was Wanted By The Police And They Came To Retrieve Him At The House.

It Shows That You Realy Need To Know Your Friends Better.

blacklisted
07-29-2006, 9:28 PM
Is the "black powder shotgun" an antique?

GUNS4WORK
07-29-2006, 9:34 PM
No A Replica... Muzzle Loader

bwiese
07-29-2006, 9:44 PM
Said friend needs to get a gun attorney ASAP. A regular attorney should be contacted in the meantime.

He shouldn't be talking to you or anyone beside a lawyer either.

I have no idea about blackpowder shotguns. If there's a chance it can fire normal shotgun shells definitely a bad thing if bbl shorter than 18". (Bbl length is measured from end of barrel or permanently attached muzzle device to bolt face.)

'Constructive possession' concept generally does apply on both state and Federal basis. This is, remember, not really gun law but tax law. As long as the short bbl and its matching receiver are possessed by the same person - even at different locations - it's a no-no. Disassembly is meaningless. The only exception would be if there was already one legal short-bbl NFA-registered shotgun the guy possessed (and which was compatible with other short bbl so he could say it was for that one instead) - but this is 99.999% unlikely, esp in CA.

Your friend got Randy Weaver'd and failed the Big IQ test.

xenophobe
07-29-2006, 9:50 PM
Constructive possession.

Whether or not the SBR applies to black powder, which I'm sure it may, your friend absolutely needs to contact a firearms-specific lawyer.

As Bill said, have him hire an attorney, and then have his case taken over by a firearms attorney, ASAP.

Without a real lawyer or gun lawyer, your friend is screwed.

ohsmily
07-29-2006, 10:10 PM
DOES CONSTRUCTUAL(SP?) INTENT APPLY TO SHORT BARRLED SHOTGUNS OR JUST FULL AUTO?



Oh yeah, full auto shotguns. Those are the best. Especially with infrared LASERS and bayonet lugs (with bayonet attached), those are my favorite...super duper cool.

MaxQ
07-29-2006, 10:42 PM
Chris,
This is an excerpt from California Penal Code Section 12020

(c)(1) As used in this section, a "short-barreled shotgun" means any of the following:
(A) A firearm which is designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell and having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
(B) A firearm which has an overall length of less than 26 inches and which is designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell.
(C) Any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
(D) Any device which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell which, when so restored, is a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C) inclusive.
(E) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C) inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, can be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.


Part (E) appears to clearly say that constructive possession applies to disassembled short-barreled shotgun parts possessed by the same person. I agree with everyone else - he needs to get a good firearms attorney ASAP.

I didn't see anything in the CPC about muzzle loaders being treated differently with respect to barrel length.

bwiese
07-29-2006, 10:45 PM
Yeah, this guy could be double-reamed with state AND Federal charges.

His future is very unclear, other than being 100% certain he failed the Big IQ test.

paradox
07-30-2006, 5:27 AM
Oh yeah, full auto shotguns. Those are the best. Especially with infrared LASERS and bayonet lugs (with bayonet attached), those are my favorite...super duper cool.

Mmmmm an AA12 with infrared LASERS and bayonet lugs (more bayonets mean more fu). Add a good set of NVG and you got the super duper zombie killing machine :D

http://defensereview.com/1_31_2004/AA12%20Shotgun_1.jpg

JPglee1
07-30-2006, 9:32 AM
No A Replica... Muzzle Loader

Muzzle loader is NOT a firerarm under BATF regs.

As long as its a true bore stuffer and doesn't take cartridges its 100% legal to hack it as short as you like.


The 17" barrel on the SxS = screwed... 1" under the limit, even if its not ON the gun, constructive possession applies on the .GOV Federal level, and thats what he'll prolly be charged with.


He needs an attorney, and he needs to realize theres a VERY LARGE chance he will pull at least 3 yrs in prison for that stunt.


I wish him the best. Get the best lawyer you can find.



J

JPglee1
07-30-2006, 9:38 AM
Chris,
This is an excerpt from California Penal Code Section 12020

I didn't see anything in the CPC about muzzle loaders being treated differently with respect to barrel length.


That's because muzzle loaders aren't "firearms" under the law... Even a replica BP muzzle loader is considered a non-gun. This is why you can sell them F-2-F and buy them thru the mail.


Pre-1899 antiques ya know... Ive bought pre-1899 revolvers and had them mailed right to me (and then shot it same day..cool!)

TECHNICALLY you would be ok to chop any pre-1899 long gun down as short as you'd like because they aren't considered "firearms" they are collectibles.

OF course, if you used it on someone they would call it a firearm.


I'm trying to find a definitive answer as well because I would love to be able to get an old damascuz BBL 12ga (or 10ga) SxS and cut it down to 10" with a cut off stock and shoot REALLLY light loads in it...

I thought maybe put a 20ga insert in it, but that probably WOULD make it classified as a "long gun" as it would be modified for modern ammo, not BP cartridges...






JP

jessegpresley
07-30-2006, 11:03 AM
What's the point of a sawed off black powder shotgun, and a 17" SXS? This guy sounds like he should apply for a MENSA membership.

JPglee1
07-30-2006, 11:18 AM
What's the point of a sawed off black powder shotgun, and a 17" SXS? This guy sounds like he should apply for a MENSA membership.

17" SxS I cannot comment on,

but a whacked down BP double barrel would still be fun to play with at the range with smokeless in it (LIGHT loads)

Only legal way to own a SBS smoke pole in Califas, its kind slow to shoot but with paper cartridges pre-rolled with shot/slugs and some primers it would be fairly fast to reload at the range.


I still wanna know if a pre-1899 cartridge shooting shotgun can be cut down w/out violating NFA... I don't see how it could as its classified by the BATF as a non-gun.



JP

saki302
07-30-2006, 1:50 PM
He's probably Ok with the cut down black powder gun, but the disassembled SxS will screw him. he shoulda just hammered the barrels flat, or ran over them with the truck- 2 minutes, and it's no longer functional again. Ever.

-Dave

Sluggz
07-30-2006, 5:22 PM
Sawing down a pre-1899 cartrige gun to sbs/sbr lengh would be an NFA violation, since you would be "making" the sbs/sbr. The old date of manufacture would no longer apply, the new date of manufacture would be when you took the hacksaw to it. There are pre-1899 cartrige firearms that were made with short barrels, but these are legal , since they were made that way prior to 1899.

VeryCoolCat
07-30-2006, 5:33 PM
Contact a lawyer and consider pleading guilty and say you didn't mean to it was an honest mistake. If he has no previous records, they'll go easy with lots of community service and several years probation hopefully no prison.... If you plead guilty and do have a record maybe 3 - 6 months.

Like they say... "throw yourself upon the mercy of the court."

If you fight it, you'll lose. Then you'll get 1-5 years.

JPglee1
07-30-2006, 5:57 PM
Sawing down a pre-1899 cartrige gun to sbs/sbr lengh would be an NFA violation, since you would be "making" the sbs/sbr. The old date of manufacture would no longer apply, the new date of manufacture would be when you took the hacksaw to it. There are pre-1899 cartrige firearms that were made with short barrels, but these are legal , since they were made that way prior to 1899.

IMHO, you would be modifying not making it

The receiver would remain intact as originally manufactured, with original markings/SN in place (if it has one at all)...


Im not gonna try it but I feel it would be legal... the BATF cant' have it both ways, either a pre-1899 is a gun or its not, and they define it as NOT a firearm...


Good convo.


J

JPglee1
07-30-2006, 5:58 PM
Contact a lawyer and consider pleading guilty and say you didn't mean to it was an honest mistake. If he has no previous records, they'll go easy with lots of community service and several years probation hopefully no prison.... If you plead guilty and do have a record maybe 3 - 6 months.

Like they say... "throw yourself upon the mercy of the court."

If you fight it, you'll lose. Then you'll get 1-5 years.

Try to plea down to 2-3 misdemeanors, pay a fine and do house arrest or something...


always avoid felonies at any expense.


J

Mudvayne540ld
07-30-2006, 6:55 PM
yea....
Felony means you can never own a firearm again :(

xenophobe
07-30-2006, 8:49 PM
IMHO, you would be modifying not making it

The receiver would remain intact as originally manufactured, with original markings/SN in place (if it has one at all)...


Im not gonna try it but I feel it would be legal... the BATF cant' have it both ways, either a pre-1899 is a gun or its not, and they define it as NOT a firearm...

The date of manufacture for SBR and SBS is not the original manufacture date, but the date it was converted, and if you legally convert a normal firearm into a short barreled weapon, it must be engraved with the manufacturer and address of the person who created it (the person who submitted the form and got approved, not the original manufacturer of the weapon).

And indeed, cutting the barrel off a legal shotgun under 18" is manufacturing, not modifying, a short barreled shotgun.

artherd
07-30-2006, 10:06 PM
Fed or state charges? (both have prohibitions...)

I sense a problem with the search as well, he needs a REALLY good attorney and then can probally walk.

JPglee1
07-31-2006, 6:56 AM
The date of manufacture for SBR and SBS is not the original manufacture date, but the date it was converted, and if you legally convert a normal firearm into a short barreled weapon, it must be engraved with the manufacturer and address of the person who created it (the person who submitted the form and got approved, not the original manufacturer of the weapon).

And indeed, cutting the barrel off a legal shotgun under 18" is manufacturing, not modifying, a short barreled shotgun.

So basically...find an 1880s coach gun thats already 12" long and yer good to go?

LOL


Thanks for the "Discussion" bro.


J

ivanimal
07-31-2006, 7:23 AM
If they were looking for someone else did they show a search warrant? Did they have reason to go through his things? That would and could make this an illegal search and seisure, just a thought. Good luck. This is the best reason to fly straight fellas.

JPglee1
07-31-2006, 9:13 AM
I'm guessing:

Idiot, with big mouth, shows off gun... Guy he shows it to gets pinched on something else (idiots run in packs) and gives up original idiot to save his own idiot hide.


Moral of the story, keep your idiotic stuff to yourself so other idiots wont roll you out to save their idiot arses.



J

bwiese
07-31-2006, 11:49 AM
Moral of the story, keep your idiotic stuff to yourself so other idiots wont roll you out to save their idiot arses.


Yeah, this is the idiot M1A-with-flash-hider-in-LA guy Part Deux...

mblat
07-31-2006, 12:12 PM
Yeah, this is the idiot M1A-with-flash-hider-in-LA guy Part Deux...


You know - I don't think they fall exactly in the same category. I can see how one can easily overlook the fact that flash hider on his grandfather M1 no longer legal. Not everyone have time or desire to be up to date on current gun laws. I remember reading somewhere that some estimate put amount of unregestered AWs in CA close to 50000. Simply because there owners never were and stil not aware that there is such thing as AW! Or they simply think that AW must mean something modern like AR or AK.
One can argue that this is damn, but that is how it is for many people. For them guns not even a hobby, but a thing that was left to them by a relative and used to be for sale on gas stations.

But sawed off shotgun.... That was on the books forever....

bwiese
07-31-2006, 12:29 PM
You know - I don't think they fall exactly in the same category. I can see how one can easily overlook the fact that flash hider on his grandfather M1 no longer legal.

This is not an M1 Garand, it's an M1A (M14ish). An M1 Garand can have a flash hider (fixed mag).

An M1A ain't most likely gonna be grandpa's gun, it's gonna be of recent vintage.


Not everyone have time or desire to be up to date on current gun laws.


Well, there's a word for this: stupidity. Everyone knows "ignorance of the law is no excuse" (well, at least generally speaking, there are exceptions but not here). And it's known to be easy enough to become an accidental felon esp in CA that anyone should bone up on what's what. Esp when you can readily buy How to Own a Gun in CA and Stay Out of Jail by John Machtinger for $10 or so, and it's readily accessible reading.

Broadly, SB23 features issues are fairly easy to know. SB23 stuff was mailed out with DMV license/registration renewals in 2000 ("new laws for 2000" insert). It's on the books and meets the legal requirements for promulgation.

I remember reading somewhere that some estimate put amount of unregestered AWs in CA close to 50000. Simply because there owners never were and stil not aware that there is such thing as AW!

Perhaps. Again, that's stupidity combined with inattention. I even know some a dude that lost an AR10 because of confusion about registration vs 4473.

But I can't sympathize much - if you're that far out of the loop to not know what's what, you ain't much use for gun rights in general and are essentially what I call a "duck hunter".

For them guns not even a hobby, but a thing that was left to them by a relative and used to be for sale on gas stations.

I'm sure this M1A was most likely an actively purchased gun of recent vintage. There weren't that many from 60s and 70s, Springfield Armory is the volume producer and they really weren't around back then. And esp as M14s can't legally become M1As ("once a machinegun, always a machinegun") there was not much early supply.

We also are pretty sure this M1A case in LA involved the dude attaching a flash hider, and in front of someone else.

I think these laws are idiotic, but only idiots violate these laws.

These are the same kinda folks I warned at Reno Gun Show a few years ago about illegal (Fed) preban configs on postban rifles. They told me, in essence, "Aw shucks, the ATF ain't bustin' for that." Some of these folks were arrested later by ATF for just Fed AW violations, nothing else They plead guility to felonies, and their cases were wrapping up right when the Fed AW ban was sunsetting.

TonyNorCal
07-31-2006, 12:35 PM
If anything this should reinforce that it is absolutely imperative to always have all your firearms in legal configuration...even at home while cleaning or changing mags.

This means doing things like removing pistol grips before changing fixed mags, etc.

You never know when the police might be in your house for some reason...or the fire dept/police together...etc.

So you decide to change mags, don't remove the pistol grip, then get distracted...leave the rifle laying on your work bench in illegal configuration...

Police come for some reason...accident, call, etc...so many possible reasons...

Now you need a lawyer for an assault weapon charge.

Be smart people..

SemiAutoSam
07-31-2006, 12:45 PM
This is not an M1 Garand, it's an M1A (M14ish). An M1 Garand can have a flash hider (fixed mag).

An M1A ain't most likely gonna be grandpa's gun, it's gonna be of recent vintage.



Well, there's a word for this: stupidity. Everyone knows "ignorance of the law is no excuse" (well, at least generally speaking, there are exceptions but not here). And it's known to be easy enough to become an accidental felon esp in CA that anyone should bone up on what's what. Esp when you can readily buy How to Own a Gun in CA and Stay Out of Jail by John Machtinger for $10 or so, and it's readily accessible reading.

Broadly, SB23 features issues are fairly easy to know. SB23 stuff was mailed out with DMV license/registration renewals in 2000 ("new laws for 2000" insert). It's on the books and meets the legal requirements for promulgation.



Perhaps. Again, that's stupidity combined with inattention. I even know some a dude that lost an AR10 because of confusion about registration vs 4473.

But I can't sympathize much - if you're that far out of the loop to not know what's what, you ain't much use for gun rights in general and are essentially what I call a "duck hunter".



I'm sure this M1A was most likely an actively purchased gun of recent vintage. There weren't that many from 60s and 70s, Springfield Armory is the volume producer and they really weren't around back then. And esp as M14s can't legally become M1As ("once a machinegun, always a machinegun") there was not much early supply.

We also are pretty sure this M1A case in LA involved the dude attaching a flash hider, and in front of someone else.

I think these laws are idiotic, but only idiots violate these laws.

These are the same kinda folks I warned at Reno Gun Show a few years ago about illegal (Fed) preban configs on postban rifles. They told me, in essence, "Aw shucks, the ATF ain't bustin' for that." Some of these folks were arrested later by ATF for just Fed AW violations, nothing else They plead guility to felonies, and their cases were wrapping up right when the Fed AW ban was sunsetting.

I have a different way of thinking about this case.

IN my opinion there was no crime committed.

As if there was a crime who and where is/was the victim.

Your saying it was the state ?

How was the state injured ?

My thoughts on alot of so called crimes No victim = no crime.

IE if no one is injured there has been no crime committed.

Does anyone agree with me ?

saki302
07-31-2006, 12:48 PM
We all agree with you, but it won't keep you out of the klinky, unfortunately!

-Dave

bwiese
07-31-2006, 12:51 PM
If anything this should reinforce that it is absolutely imperative to always have all your firearms in legal configuration...even at home while cleaning or changing mags.

This means doing things like removing pistol grips before changing fixed mags, etc.

You never know when the police might be in your house for some reason...or the fire dept/police together...etc.




Yup, Don Kilmer told me that 85% of CA AW violations were in the home, via some domestic issue - and not due to vehicle stops. (But that doesn't mean you should drive an illegal AW out of CA, esp as the penalties increase for transportation).

Cops can come into your house for a variety of reasons, some of them noncriminal.

So besides 'staying legal' as TonyNorCal pointed out, NEVER LET A COP IN YOUR HOUSE if you can help it (nonexigency, no warrant, etc.) You don't generally have to talk to a cop, and you can slam the door in his face. If he says he can get a warrant, that's BS: he'd've had one already if he could.

You may not like the ACLU but read up on their guidlines as to home entry, search and seizure, what you should and shouldn't say, etc. (They also have a 'bust card' you should carry.) Remember, most people talk themselves into jail.

bwiese
07-31-2006, 12:56 PM
I have a different way of thinking about this case.

IN my opinion there was no crime committed.


In your opinion, but not that of the folks who have the ability and power to put people in jail. There was a clear violation of held law - unless and until we get full RKBA in California and solidify it on a Federal basis, it's gonna continue to be this way.

Jicko
07-31-2006, 12:57 PM
My thoughts on alot of so called crimes No victim = no crime.

IE if no one is injured there has been no crime committed.

Does anyone agree with me ?


Nah.

A crime is a crime.... no victim now doesn't mean no possible victim....

Speeding is a violation(crime).... drink and drive is one too.... you got away with no accident doesn't mean that there are not "increased risk" for others....

No matter how BS I think a lot of gun laws are... there are still definitions of legal and illegal....

SemiAutoSam
07-31-2006, 1:05 PM
This is just one prime example of why the system is faulty.

When the laws were first written this way I do not know but I see it as being corrupt and outragious.

It is wrong that someone gets tossed in jail or prison for a crime where there was no victim. No victim = no injured party no injured party = no crime IMHO.