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Old 04-01-2014, 05:28 AM
2wingo 2wingo is offline
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Default My Understanding of the Law Regarding Sawed-Off Shotguns

I just want someone to confirm that I'm basically correct:

In the US, it is legal to shorten the barrel(s) of a shotguns only to a certain point; to shorten it past that point requires you to register the weapon with the BATFE and pay a tax of some sort.

Am I way off or do I have it right?
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:51 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Originally Posted by 2wingo View Post
I just want someone to confirm that I'm basically correct:

In the US, it is legal to shorten the barrel(s) of a shotguns only to a certain point; to shorten it past that point requires you to register the weapon with the BATFE and pay a tax of some sort.

Am I way off or do I have it right?
If I remember correctly the barrel can't be under 18.5" and the overall length of the shotgun has to be at least 42 inches. I think. I'm going to bed so I don't feel like looking it up. I believe it's actually 18", but I've always been told to stick with 18.5 just to be on the safe side. Don't forget the overall length though. I've seen folks get jammed up because they cut the stock down as well as the barrel. Then it's Federal.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:54 AM
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If it weren't for the dang laws, my Savage Fox Model B would get cut down for the lulz and/or so I could have a sweet Lupara
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:27 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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One of the officers I work with has a Remington 870 that he had cut down to 14 inches. For many years it was his entry weapon - he was on SWAT. He had the work done by a professional gunsmith and he had to pay the Federal tax on it. There was a lot of paperwork and it took a few months for him to get the approval. He no longer carries it, but he still owns it - legally. Whatever one's grievances with the Federal government it's better not to screw with the Federal firearms codes.

Those codes have teeth and the Federal prosecutors will file. I've seen a few truely bad people go to prison on Federal firearms violations. In one memorable case the badguy in question had beaten several cases over the years, but he couldn't get out of the Federal firearm case. Now that's been my experience. Others might have a different story to tell. Just FYI.
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:28 PM
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funkychinaman funkychinaman is offline
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Originally Posted by Jcordell View Post
One of the officers I work with has a Remington 870 that he had cut down to 14 inches. For many years it was his entry weapon - he was on SWAT. He had the work done by a professional gunsmith and he had to pay the Federal tax on it. There was a lot of paperwork and it took a few months for him to get the approval. He no longer carries it, but he still owns it - legally. Whatever one's grievances with the Federal government it's better not to screw with the Federal firearms codes.

Those codes have teeth and the Federal prosecutors will file. I've seen a few truely bad people go to prison on Federal firearms violations. In one memorable case the badguy in question had beaten several cases over the years, but he couldn't get out of the Federal firearm case. Now that's been my experience. Others might have a different story to tell. Just FYI.
As an Idahoan, I'm surprised you didn't mention the siege at Ruby Ridge, which was set off due to the illegal sale of sawn-off shotguns.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:44 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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As an Idahoan, I'm surprised you didn't mention the siege at Ruby Ridge, which was set off due to the illegal sale of sawn-off shotguns.
My father is retired Idaho State Police and was up there. One of the ATF agents who was up there was killed the next year at Waco. Dad says he was a nice guy and evidently an avid hunter and gun guy. What a mess. Many mistakes made on both sides and both sides are guilty of some heavy propaganda.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by funkychinaman View Post
As an Idahoan, I'm surprised you didn't mention the siege at Ruby Ridge, which was set off due to the illegal sale of sawn-off shotguns.
Randy Weaver was requested OVER and OVER and OVER again by two undercover officers to cut a shotgun barrel down down to a small fraction below legal. They knew he was a so-so gunsmith and had the tools to do it nicely. Weaver was also broke, but it took these guys weeks of badger him and waving cash in front of him to get him to do it.

I call 'entrapment', probably worse when law enforcement basically harasses you to 'break the law'. Some folks will do it just so that you leave them alone (big mistake IMHO).
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:22 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Originally Posted by Jcordell View Post
If I remember correctly the barrel can't be under 18.5" and the overall length of the shotgun has to be at least 42 inches. I think. I'm going to bed so I don't feel like looking it up. I believe it's actually 18", but I've always been told to stick with 18.5 just to be on the safe side. Don't forget the overall length though. I've seen folks get jammed up because they cut the stock down as well as the barrel. Then it's Federal.
42"? Does that mean a Mossberg JIC requires a tax stamp? I'm surprised! Up here a barrel can't be shortened to under 18" or the gun overall to under 26", but if it's manufactured that way it becomes classified the same as a handgun.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:37 AM
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42"? Does that mean a Mossberg JIC requires a tax stamp? I'm surprised! Up here a barrel can't be shortened to under 18" or the gun overall to under 26", but if it's manufactured that way it becomes classified the same as a handgun.
I believe the overall limit is 26".
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:59 PM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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Originally Posted by funkychinaman View Post
I believe the overall limit is 26".
Yep that's right. I just looked it up. See what happens when you don't look stuff up because you're in a hurry to go to bed. Let that be a lesson to everyone here.
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