Tools of the Trade wishes all you shooters and your family’s a merry Christmas.
Pistol Grips and Shotguns
Firearms with pistol grips attached:
The definition of a shotgun under the GCA, 18 U.S.C.
§ 921(a)(5), is “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
an explosives to fire through a smooth bore either a number
of ball shot or single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
Under the GCA, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(29)(A), handgun
means “a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to
be held and fired by the use of a single hand.”
Federal law provides under 18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1), that if the firearm to be
transferred is “other than a rifle or shotgun,” the purchaser
must be 21 years of age or older.
Certain commercially produced firearms do not fall within
the definition of shotgun under the GCA even though
they utilize a shotgun shell for ammunition. For example,
firearms that come equipped with a pistol grip in place of
the buttstock are not shotguns as defined by the GCA.
A firearm with a pistol grip in lieu of the shoulder stock is
not designed to be fired from the shoulder and, therefore,
is not a shotgun. Since it is a firearm “other than a rifle or
shotgun,” the purchaser must be 21 years of age or older.
Additionally, interstate controls apply. The licensee and
transferee must be residents of the same State.
Other questions raised pertain to entries made in the
licensee’s required records with respect to firearm “type.”
These entries should indicate the firearm type as “pistol grip
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is moving to require federally licensed firearms retailers to report multiple sales of modern sporting rifles beginning January 5, 2011. Specifically, the ATF requirement calls for firearms retailers to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.
Today’s Washington Post suggests that the reporting mandate would be limited to retailers along the Southwest border; however, the Federal Register Notice does not limit the geographic scope of the reporting requirement.
This ATF “emergency” mandate was originally pushed by the anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition, headed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, more than a year and a half ago. And the Post reports that the Department of Justice has “languished” over this plan for several months. Given this timetable, it’s hard to see exactly where the “emergency” is.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation opposes this reporting requirement because it further burdens America’s law-abiding firearms retailers with yet another onerous regulation that will do nothing to curb crime. Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement, thereby driving traffickers further underground. This is not unlike how criminals maneuvered around one-gun-a-month laws in states like Virginia – which is still considered an “exporting source state” by anti-gun organizations like the MAIG despite its restrictions on the number of firearms law-abiding residents may purchase.
Multiple sales reporting for long guns is an ill-considered mandate and one that ATF does not have the legal authority to unilaterally impose. In fact, ATF has not specified under what legal authority it presumes to act. The decision as to whether ATF can move forward with this agenda-driven mandate will be left to Cass Sunstein who heads the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). This is the same Cass Sunstein who in a 2007 speech at Harvard University said, “We ought to ban hunting, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”
NSSF will be submitting comments in opposition to this registration scheme and is encouraging all firearms retailers, sportsmen and enthusiasts to do the same.
Please voice your concern by doing the following:
1. Call the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulation Affairs, Department of Justice, Desk Officer at (202) 395-6466.
2. E-mail Barbara A. Terrell, ATF, Firearms Industry Programs Branch at Barbara.Terrell@atf.gov
3. Call your Senators and Representative: United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Points to make:
- Multiple sales reporting of long guns will actually make it more difficult for licensed retailers to help law enforcement as traffickers modify their illegal schemes to circumvent the reporting requirement. Traffickers will go further underground, hiring more people to buy their firearms. This will make it much harder for retailers to identify and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement.
- Long guns are rarely used in crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics).
- Imposing multiple sales-reporting requirements for long guns would further add to the already extensive paperwork and record-keeping requirements burdening America’s retailers – where a single mistake could cost them their license and even land them in jail.
- Last year, ATF inspected 2,000 retailers in border states and only two licenses were revoked (0.1%). These revocations were for reasons unknown and could have had nothing to do with illicit trafficking of guns; furthermore, no dealers were charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
- According to ATF, the average age of a firearm recovered in the United States is 11 years old. In Mexico it’s more than 14 years old. This demonstrates that criminals are not using new guns bought from retailers in the states.
- Congress, when it enacted multiple sales reporting for handguns, could have required multiple sales of long guns – it specifically chose not to.
SAF SUES N.J. OFFICIALS FOR ‘DEPRIVATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS’ ON PERMIT DENIALS
For Immediate Release: 11/22/2010
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against several New Jersey officials for deprivation of civil rights under color of law.
SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. and six private citizens whose applications for permits to carry have been denied generally on the grounds that they have not shown a “justifiable need.” One of the plaintiffs is a kidnap victim, another is a part-time sheriff’s deputy, a third carries large amounts of cash in his private business and another is a civilian employee of the FBI in New Jersey who is fearful of attack from a radical Islamic fundamentalist group. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David D. Jensen and Robert P. Firriolo with the firm of Duane Morris, LLP in Newark.
Named as defendants in the case are three Superior Court judges, Philip J. Maenza, Morris County; Rudolph A. Filko, Passaic County and Edward A. Jerejian of Bergen County, plus Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the State Police, Hammonton Police Chief Frank Ingemi and New Jersey Attorney General Paula T. Dow.
“Law-abiding New Jersey citizens have been arbitrarily deprived of their ability to defend themselves and their families for years under the state’s horribly-crafted laws,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The law grants uncontrolled discretion to police chiefs and other public officials to deny license applications even in cases where the applicant has shown a clear and present danger exists.
“If being a kidnap victim, or part-time law enforcement officer, or the potential target of a known radical group does not clearly demonstrate a justifiable need,” he continued, “the defendants need to explain what would. Do citizens need guns to their heads or knives to their throats before the state considers their need to be justified?
“Supreme Court rulings have made it clear that the Second Amendment prohibits states from completely banning the carrying of handguns for self-defense,” Gottlieb said. “Nor may states deny citizens the right to carry handguns in non-sensitive places or deprive them of the right to carry in an arbitrary and capricious manner. That’s what is happening today in New Jersey, and we intend to stop it.”