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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is directed at Malum Prohibitum but anyone that can provide a definitive answer is welcome to jump in. My question concerns the legality of this 14" barreled non-NFA, non-shotgun in Georgia.

http://www.mossberg.com/category/series/590-shockwave/



MP, a user on the ar15.com GA Hometown Forum asked if the above weapon was legal in GA.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_35/5...-Plain-English--We-hope-.html&page=2#i6730180

You replied that your belief was that it violated OCGA 16-11-121(5):

"Sawed-off shotgun" means a shotgun or any weapon made from a shotgun whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
But a shotgun is defined in OCGA 16-11-121(6) as:

"Shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder; and designed or redesigned, and made or remade, to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
Since this Mossberg 590 Shockwave - as well as the Remington 870 PGO "shotguns" - are factory built models never having had a shoulder stock attached to them, they were never intended to be fired from the shoulder.

Therefore, they shouldn't fall under the 16-11-121(5) or 16-11-121(6) descriptions. They would just be "firearms" I believe and completely legal to own in GA as a non-NFA regulated weapon.

If not, what nuance of the law am I missing here? Because this would make an awesome truck gun for those "special" moments in one's life without having to go through the NFA process. :mrgreen:
 

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I don't see anything wrong with taking advantage of the loopholes in federal and state laws.
Yeah, this firearm isn't any sort of "shotgun" and never was, because it never had a shoulder stock and was neither designed, or redesigned, to be fired from the shoulder.

However, don't expect cops to know that.
You could very easily be arrested for possessing one of these. Cops (and any other person who is not an expert on guns and new developments in the firearms industry) will assume that this gun was modified from a shotgun that once had a shoulder stock. Very few shotguns are factory-made as pistol-grip-only.
And of those PGO (pistol grip only) shotguns are not marked as such, how can anybody know this characteristic? This historical fact involving their manufacture and factory assembly?

If I owned one of these, I'd carry around with it the owner's manual or something that shows what it is, and what it isn't, and never was.
 

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But even if it's just a "firearm" and not a "shotgun" or "long gun" under our definitions in the laws, it's still covered by SOME laws.

Like the school weapons law, 16-11-127.1

(4) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver,
or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind,

Certainly shotgun pellets or slugs are "missiles" as that word is used here.
And this firearm is certainly a weapon. I think all guns are weapons, no matter how sporting they may be (Winchester 52 bolt action target rifle, .22LR, with a 26" bull barrel, even).
 

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I don't see anything wrong with taking advantage of the loopholes in federal and state laws.
Yeah, this firearm isn't any sort of "shotgun" and never was, because it never had a shoulder stock and was neither designed, or redesigned, to be fired from the shoulder.

However, don't expect cops to know that.
You could very easily be arrested for possessing one of these. Cops (and any other person who is not an expert on guns and new developments in the firearms industry) will assume that this gun was modified from a shotgun that once had a shoulder stock. Very few shotguns are factory-made as pistol-grip-only.
And of those PGO (pistol grip only) shotguns are not marked as such, how can anybody know this characteristic? This historical fact involving their manufacture and factory assembly?

If I owned one of these, I'd carry around with it the owner's manual or something that shows what it is, and what it isn't, and never was.
BATFE Letter might do the trick.
http://www.mossberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Shockwave-Letter-from-ATF-3-2-17.pdf
 

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Isn't there another thread already where I analyzed state and federal law with specific reference to this gun? Or was that an emailed question somebody sent me or a PM?
 

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My off the cuff answer is this: It is a "dangerous weapon" under Georgia law.

"Sawed-off shotgun" means a shotgun or any weapon made from a shotgun whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

Notice the word "or"

It was made from a shotgun? Check.

It has a barrel less then 14 inches? Check. Stop.

Your analysis is finished.

Now we have to examine exceptions to this law.

Are you a police officer? No.

Are you in the military? No.

Is this gun registered in accordance with the NFA? No.

So you are up poo poo creek, my friend. I hope you like the holding cells at you local county jail and like prison. I hear there is lots of TV, free food, and sex.

Also, remember that a weapon like this enjoys none of the assumptions that exist with a normal shotgun or pistol. This is in the dangerous weapons section. Even registration with the dictates of the NFA is an affirmative defense. That means your mere possession of this weapon is a prima facie case. The officer does not even have to ask any questions. He can just walk up and cuff you.

This is going off of memory, literally, off the top of my head, so if anybody thinks I missed something, feel free to challenge me.
 

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question

The key question will be:
"when a state law is an exact mirror image copy of a federal statute, should state authorities (state agencies, state prosecutors, and state judges) follow the federal agencies' or courts' interpretations of that mirror image federal law?"

If not, then here in the state of Georgia we could rule that a pump action shotgun receiver was (originally, a century ago) designed to be fired from the shoulder even if later (a few years ago) it was redesigned not to have any buttstock at all.

I'll bet in the Georgia appellate court, somewhere there is a ruling on whether or not state criminal statutes that mirror federal statutes--or Georgia constitutional provisions that are worded the same as federal constitutional provisions-- should or should not be interpreted the same way.

But I don't recall the answer to that question.
 

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Yukon Cornelius
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My off the cuff answer is this: It is a "dangerous weapon" under Georgia law.

"Sawed-off shotgun" means a shotgun or any weapon made from a shotgun whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

Notice the word "or"

It was made from a shotgun? Check.

It has a barrel less then 14 inches? Check. Stop.

Your analysis is finished.

Now we have to examine exceptions to this law.

Are you a police officer? No.

Are you in the military? No.

Is this gun registered in accordance with the NFA? No.

So you are up poo poo creek, my friend. I hope you like the holding cells at you local county jail and like prison. I hear there is lots of TV, free food, and sex.

Also, remember that a weapon like this enjoys none of the assumptions that exist with a normal shotgun or pistol. This is in the dangerous weapons section. Even registration with the dictates of the NFA is an affirmative defense. That means your mere possession of this weapon is a prima facie case. The officer does not even have to ask any questions. He can just walk up and cuff you.

This is going off of memory, literally, off the top of my head, so if anybody thinks I missed something, feel free to challenge me.
isnt the overall length more than 26 inches on the shockwave?? so it wasnt modified since its in factory configuration so it doesnt look like it meets the definition in your post?????
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very few shotguns are factory-made as pistol-grip-only.
And of those PGO (pistol grip only) shotguns are not marked as such, how can anybody know this characteristic? This historical fact involving their manufacture and factory assembly?

If I owned one of these, I'd carry around with it the owner's manual or something that shows what it is, and what it isn't, and never was.
My understanding - as I've not personally seen one - is that the factory boxes indicate that these are not "shotguns" and the buyer must be 21+ (regular shotguns can be purchased by anyone 18+).

I'd have in my possession as much information, including the factory box, showing exactly what this weapon was. And wasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My off the cuff answer is this: It is a "dangerous weapon" under Georgia law.
"Sawed-off shotgun" means a shotgun or any weapon made from a shotgun whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Notice the word "or"

It was made from a shotgun? Check.
But this weapon was never a shotgun to begin with nor was it made from an altered or modified shotgun.
 

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Number of people have made these before using the pistol grip "shotguns". Main thing was that they were manufactured as a pistol grip, never having the buttstock put on by either the manufacturer or anyone else, keeping them as just a firearm in this kinda oddball federal/state area. Personally I'd not carry one in my vehicle because trying to argue the legality of what is and isn't a shotgun/firearm doesn't go to far with some cops. More than likely you would have to present your evidence to the judge, then worry about getting your item back from the police. Plenty of other firearms that do a pretty good job as a truck gun, even one you can SBR or pistol brace. I'd guess more police are aware of the pistol brace vs SBR than they are about the whole firearm vs short barreled shotgun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bullseye Gun Shop in Lawrenceville has this listed on Gunbroker. Doesn't mention anything about it not being legal in GA.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/633004685
I emailed and asked.

Yes this is legal in Georgia as our shop is in Lawrenceville, GA. Thanks,

NATHAN POWELL, Gun Broker Sales

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]221 West Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046
Phone: (770) 963-6556
Fax: (770) 963-8922
[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]www.bullseyeindoorrange.com
[/FONT]
 

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These firearms are being sold by FFL dealers all over Georgia, when you can find them in stock. I've sold a few myself at my store.

In my opinion, they are lawful firearms here in the state. However, as others have noted, if you use one in a self defense or home defense incident, you may be questioned on it. I would agree with keeping the original box and literature, as well as a printed copy of the ATF letter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Personally I'd not carry one in my vehicle because trying to argue the legality of what is and isn't a shotgun/firearm doesn't go to far with some cops. More than likely you would have to present your evidence to the judge, then worry about getting your item back from the police.
Arguing legalities with cops isn't a worthwhile endeavor because it's not their job. If they want to arrest you they will, regardless of what facts you present them. I doubt this would ever go to trial because the prosecuting attorney is going to have a very difficult time convincing a judge or a jury that an item legally manufactured and legally sold is illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Plenty of other firearms that do a pretty good job as a truck gun, even one you can SBR or pistol brace.
I have SBRs. There's something about a 12ga "shotgun" in close quarters that just can't be matched by a rifle or pistol.
 
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