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Shoulder Stock to PGO Legality

Discussion in 'Legal' started by A5WaffleIron, Nov 28, 2017.

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  1. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Greetings all, first post!

    I am interested in shortening my Browning A5, but am having a hard time nailing down precise definitions. What I currently have is a 20-something inch barrel and a shoulder stock. I plan to shorten the barrel to less than 18", but overall length will exceed 26" (the same way the Tac-14 is legal). Where it gets hazy is the stock: the weapon has and was sold with a full length shoulder stock. Can I legally put a pistol grip on this shotgun? Is there anything illegal about putting a pistol grip on a (Ed: previously) shouldered shotgun? I understand that it would then become a "firearm" (I am of legal purchasing age) but cannot find information on the legality of a "shotgun" becoming a "firearm".

    Most interested in cited sources. New Mexico resident (with pretty lax gun laws) so primarily interested in Federal law.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Far as I know it has to have been originally constructed without a stock for it to be considered a shockwave-type "firearm." If you replace a stock with a PGO and shorten the barrel to less than 18" you'll be in violation.

    That's my understanding. I could be wrong.
     
  3. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Right, that's what I'm trying to find; what says it's illegal for a shotgun to become a firearm?
     
  4. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    if you cut it down and it came with a shoulder stock and you don't have a tax stamp it's a sbs and it's illegal. The length on the shockwave is legal because it falls under a different category.
     
  5. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    Look up aow and sawed off laws on google.
     
  6. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    If it came with a stock from the factory it must maintain a 18 in barrel or more.
     
  7. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Do you have a source? A shotgun is defined as being shoulder fired; this will not be, thus it is not a "shotgun" but a "firearm".

    I looked up the laws; this is what I've found. Forums are my last resort.
     
  8. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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  9. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    do what you want but it's you catching three hots and a cot with a busted o-ring.
     
  10. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    If you don't believe the laws or the forums call your local sheriffs office and ask them to how they feel about it.
     
  11. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    From the link, with comments inserted in bold.

    The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) requires the registration, with the federal government, of fully-automatic firearms (termed “machineguns”), rifles and shotguns (Definition from the ATF: The term “Shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder...) that have an overall length under 26 inches, rifles with a barrel under 16 inches, shotguns (Definition from the ATF: The term “Shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder...) with a barrel under 18 inches, and firearm sound suppressors (termed “silencers”). The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) placed “destructive devices” (primarily explosives and the like, but also including firearms over .50 caliber, other than most shotguns) under the provisions of the NFA. In 1994, the Treasury Department placed revolving-cylinder shotguns and one semi-automatic shotgun under the NFA.

    Since this is/was designed/redesigned, made/remade intended to be fired with both hands, unshouldered, it is a firearm. So...
     
  12. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    Call the atf and ask I'm not bothering anymore. You act like this is a debate. The law is clear. Have a blessed day.
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You can't PGO an A-5 because the action return spring runs through the rear stock. Let me rephrase that; You can't easily PGO an A-5. I'm sure an "Sidewinder"-type conversion could be done, but not without a lot of re-working the gun.
     
  14. cjwils

    cjwils Member

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    "If you don't believe the laws or the forums call your local sheriffs office and ask them to how they feel about it."
    I hope Blkhrt13 is joking. Your local sheriff's office probably knows little to nothing about these questions, and if you ask them you might end up on their suspicious person radar.
     
  15. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    I appreciate your enduring support and wisdom. I have already contacted the ATF. This is not a debate, I am looking for concrete evidence on whether or not it is legal for a shotgun to become a firearm.
     
  16. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    This is actually a blessing in disguise. I am familiar with the action spring, it keeps the shotgun/firearm above the 26" minimum. Good observation though... it will be a rather lengthy pistol grip by industry standards.
     
  17. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    I have no interest or intent of contacting the sheriff's office for the reasons you have mentioned.
     
  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Then the logical conclusion would be to leave the butt stock; maybe shorten it a little, but leave it functional.
     
  19. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Yes, and no. With a functional buttstock, the weapon can be shoulder fired, thus maintaining it's "shotgun" status, becoming an SBS, which would require a tax stamp.
     
  20. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Not if you keep the barrel at >18". As I understand the ATF's definitions, it can only be a 'firearm' with a barrel of less than 18" if it is built on a receiver that has never been a shotgun. (This is why builders buy receivers from Remington and Mossberg.) Build a 'firearm'-type weapon from a shotgun that had a shoulder stock on it at any point and you have created an NFA regulated AOW, which requires the proper forms and taxes. Mach IV Shooter will know these laws better than I, as he is a SOT. (Not a drunk, AFAIK, but a Special Occupational Taxpayer, that is, he builds such guns, or can, legally.)

    Here's 26 USC 5845:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845

    Just between you and me (April WIne reference), I believe that § (a) (2) is written so that they are individual qulaifiers; that is, to satisfy the legal definition of ' NFA firearm' it only needs one of the two items listed. <26" overall or <18" barrel, not both. Frank Ettin will undoubtedly come by soon and tell why I'm wrong. I hope so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    A shotgun is defined as a shotshell firing arm designed or redesigned to be fired from the shoulder.

    Similarly, a rifle is also defined as an arm designed or redesigned to be fired from the shoulder.

    If you read the definitions of NFA firearms as given in the US code you'll find that two of the definitions given for NFA firearms are "Firearm made from a rifle," and "Firearm made from a shotgun.".

    While the ATF did recently reverse their long standing position on handguns being made into rifles and back into pistols, (2011) they steadfastly enforce that any firearm built as a shotgun IS now and forever a shotgun, and any firearm made from a rifle IS now and forever a rifle.
    Read more here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921

    Look at subsection a(6):
    There's really no question or lack of clarity.

    If you really spoke to the ATF I'm a bit shocked they didn't quite that, chapter and verse, but now you know.
     
  22. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    That’s what I was looking for, thank you. The AOW definitions are blurry at best, I’ll do my best to contact him.
     
  23. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Thanks. I couldn’t find anything on firearms made from shotguns. I’ll check it out. I have contacted the ATF, not spoken with. I think there’s a six to eight month wait on e-mail responses.
     
  24. A5WaffleIron

    A5WaffleIron Member

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    Sam1911, I’ve contacted MachIVshooter, and I appreciate the reference, but the phrase “firearm made from shotgun” lead me to the ATF’s website, where I found this:

    Overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-guide-identification-firearms-section-4

    It seems they’re still defining it by lengths, but I will still check with MachIVshooter about the receiver’s history being an issue. “Firearm made from shotgun” is a key phrase that would’ve helped this search a long time ago, thanks for the heads up.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    What I linked to and quoted is the text of the federal law.

    Don't be confused by over-reading into the phrasing of the ATF's guide to it. The law says what it says, in very plain language.

    If you have a shot shell firing gun with a shoulder stock and you cut the barrels to below 18", that's an NFA Firearm. If you make it less than 26" overall, that's an NFA Firearm.

    Either modification to a weapon that is a shotgun makes it an NFA firearm.

    You can't improve upon the situation by trying to out think it.
     
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