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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading this article, about the Utah gun dealer who sold the Trolley Square shooter the shotgun he used. Despite the dealer having done the background check, he has been sentenced to a year of probation anyway (don't even get me started on the injustice of that).

What caught my eye is this part:
During the court proceedings in Hill's case, defense attorneys raised the question of whether there was merit to the felony charge that forbids selling such weapons to someone under age 21. They contended that federal laws were too vague and the felony charge should be dropped. Prosecutors, however, maintained that the weapon came with a pistol grip, and that made it illegal for Hill to sell it to someone under 21.
I hadn't known about a pistol grip requiring a minimum age of 21, so I did a bit more checking around.

I found this press release (pdf format). Here's the relevant part:
The second indictment charges Hill, a licensed federal firearms dealer, with selling a Maverick Arms, Model 88, 12-gauge firearm, a weapon that is not a rifle or a shotgun, to a purchaser under the age of 21 . . .

The weapon Talovic bought from Hill was not equipped with a shoulder stock and was not designed to be fired from the shoulder. It was not manufactured as a shotgun as defined by federal law, and therefore could not be sold to someone under 21.
So is a pistol grip shotgun considered to be an AOW? I realize wikipedia isn't the most reliable of sources, but I found this.
In addition, some firearms that would normally fall into the Short Barrel Shotgun (SBS) category are not SBS. A shotgun is legally defined as a shoulder mounted firearm that fires shot. Shotguns and shotgun receivers that have never had a buttstock of any type installed are not shotguns, as they cannot be shoulder mounted. Therefore, cutting one of these below the 18" barrel and/or 26" overall length cannot produce a SBS as the firearm was never a shotgun. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives recognizes these firearms as being a smooth bore handgun which is an Any Other Weapon (AOW). Unlike a SBS, an AOW only carries a $5.00 tax and can be moved interstate without Federal approval. However, to maintain its AOW status, one may generally not have a buttstock (making it a SBS) or a rifled slug barrel (making it a Destructive Device (DD); a handgun with a bore over 0.5"). Both SBS and DD require a $200.00 transfer tax and Federal approval to transport interstate.
Even if the wikipedia entry is correct, I'm not sure if it means that a pistol grip shotgun with an overall length of at least 26" and barrel length of at least 18" is an AOW.

Anybody know?
 

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So....

I can buy a handgrip shotgun of any length, saw off the barrel to 12", and not violate any law? Somehow I doubt it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can buy a handgrip shotgun of any length, saw off the barrel to 12", and not violate any law? Somehow I doubt it.
Well, there are still requirements for an AOW--including (I think) permission from local law enforcement (chief of police, sheriff, maybe a judge). There's also a $5 tax stamp.

Still, I agree with you--something about all this doesn't seem right.
 

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Well, there are still requirements for an AOW--including (I think) permission from local law enforcement (chief of police, sheriff, maybe a judge). There's also a $5 tax stamp.

Still, I agree with you--something about all this doesn't seem right.
I see two possibilities:

1. The reporter now nothing about guns let alone the minutia of gun control laws, resulting in typical ignorant press coverage.

2. This was a case of creative and over zealous prosecution, because, hey, someone has to be responsible, and lord knows that the pore defenseless mass-murdering scumbag wasn't:rolleyes:. I think almost anyone knowledgeable of guns would recognize a riot gun configuration as a shotgun. As long as it meets Federal barrel and over all length requirements, I know of no specific law that would make the firearm restricted in any way. I can think of at least two people that had purchased such shotguns under the age of 21. Then again, I live in the dreaded "Gunshine State"
 

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From my very limited understanding of these things, to be an AOW it cannot be a conversion of any kind, it has to be built that way, so you couldn't just saw down a shotgun and be ok.
 

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Neero's right. My Serbu Super-Shorty is an AOW made from an 870 with pistol grip. If the 870 wasn't available with a pistol grip, Serbu couldn't take a standard 870, replace the shoulder stock with a pistol grip and call it an AOW. Some of the rules are a bit tricky to understand.
 
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