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Posted: 1/31/2011 5:42:08 PM EDT
Earlier today at Utah's 4th district court in Provo, UT Judge Fred Howard ruled that a Maverick 88 shotgun with a pistol grip sold to an 18 year old was an illegal sale. The buyer would later go on a shooting rampage in a shopping center in Salt Lake City. The case was a negligence action against the FFL dealer who sold him the shotgun. Pretty much the plaintiff's council presented well and the defense fumbled.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 5:45:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 6:04:58 PM EDT
Judge is correct. Under federal law / ATF ruling a pistol-gripped shotgun that never had a shoulder stock is a firearm, not a shotgun, and thus can not be sold by an FFL to anyone under 21 years of age.

Start reading at the bottom of pg 2: http://www.atf.gov/publications/newsletters/ffl/ffl-newsletter-2009-11.pdf
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 6:11:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BarbarianPhilosopher:
Earlier today at Utah's 4th district court in Provo, UT Judge Fred Howard ruled that a Maverick 88 shotgun with a pistol grip sold to an 18 year old was an illegal sale. The buyer would later go on a shooting rampage in a shopping center in Salt Lake City. The case was a negligence action against the FFL dealer who sold him the shotgun. Pretty much the plaintiff's council presented well and the defense fumbled.


As pointed out the judge is agreeing with federal law.

Now if it was a shotgun that came with a stock and he put the pistol grip on it then that is a different story
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 7:13:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 8:51:39 PM EDT by BarbarianPhilosopher]
As aptly proved by the defense (in one of his better moments) via SCOTUS rulings, the newsletters are not law and should not be even given much weight. If the Agency wishes to provide rules on the matter they have to go through the process of putting it on the Federal Register. In fact, in the federal register (I can look up and cite if needed) the ATF quotes the language of the Gun Control Act. Meaning that despite the newsletter, the ATF HAS NOT made law concerning the status of pistol grip shotguns. Also, on the 4473 it says that the seller has to determined if the sale is legal by consulting the U.S.C (Title 18?) and the C.F.R. nothing is said about ATF newsletters.

While is certainly behooves you to follow ATF newsletters, they are not law, and I think its wrong to punish someone who did not breach the actual law. Also note: in the four years since the shooting, despite investigation into the weapon by both federal and local law enforcement nothing has been done to the dealer.


****** I am not a lawyer, these points were all brought up by the defense (not very well) but were not contested by plaintiff's council *********

ETA: I was at the hearing.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 4:46:52 AM EDT
I am an FFL. If the ATF publishes in a newsletter that a PGS is not a "shotgun" under federal law and thus can't be sold to anyone under 21, I'm not going to flip the ATF the middle digit and sell PGS's to customers who aren't 21 years old. Lawyers ain't cheap.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 6:24:45 AM EDT
But the issue is what the law says/is. Besides that, why didn't the feds get up his ass years ago when this all happened?
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 7:00:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 7:03:06 AM EDT by brickeyee]
Originally Posted By BarbarianPhilosopher:
But the issue is what the law says/is. Besides that, why didn't the feds get up his ass years ago when this all happened?


The law says only rifles & shotguns can be sold to anyone under 21.


The law also defines rifles and shotguns as shoulder fired weapons.

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2007/aprqtr/27cfr478.11.htm

Rifle. 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 metallic cartridge
to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single
pull of the trigger.



Shotgun. 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.


Without a suitable stock it does not meet the definition of a shotgun.

The same law is why receivers & actions can only be sold to someone at least 21.

The law is specif in what CAN be sold to someone under 21, and receivers & actions do not meet the definition of rifle or shotgun.

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=53fd06a6c0e540132f856f9cd4aec8d5&rgn=div8&view=text&node=27:3.0.1.2.3.6.1.9&idno=27


(b) Sales or deliveries to underaged persons. A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector shall not sell or deliver (1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than 18 years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition, is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years of age,
[emphasis added]

It is not a NEW regulation, but someone finally reading the law and enforcing what it clearly says.

if you cannot shoulder it, it is NOT a rifle or shotgun and sale to anyone under 21 is restricted.

While the BATFE newsletters do not establish regulations, they give warning as to how BATFE interprets the regulations.

Put your thumb in their eye at your own risk.
There lawyers are on staff and already paid for.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:28:44 AM EDT
I never said it was a good idea to do anything the ATF frowned on. The thing is now all of those ATF newsletters, which are not law, now have an improved legal standing. My main question now is why, if this was so blatently illegal, didn't the feds do anything to the dealer? Its been four years since the shooting and the pistol grip status of the weapon was established by an investigation by the FBI. It just seems to me weird the ATF wasn't all over him.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 10:59:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2011 11:00:32 AM EDT by EOD_Guy]
deleted. I duplicated a post above.
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 1:09:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BarbarianPhilosopher:
I never said it was a good idea to do anything the ATF frowned on. The thing is now all of those ATF newsletters, which are not law, now have an improved legal standing. My main question now is why, if this was so blatently illegal, didn't the feds do anything to the dealer? Its been four years since the shooting and the pistol grip status of the weapon was established by an investigation by the FBI. It just seems to me weird the ATF wasn't all over him.


They do not.

What they have is the standing the BATFE can say it warned folks about how they interpret the law.

It appears the case was pursued to find another set of deep pockets for civil action.

Link Posted: 2/1/2011 3:24:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Put your thumb in their eye at your own risk.
There Their lawyers are on staff and already paid for.

It's not every day I get to correct an attorney...
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 12:42:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2011 12:43:29 PM EDT by brickeyee]
Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Put your thumb in their eye at your own risk.
There Their lawyers are on staff and already paid for.

It's not every day I get to correct an attorney...


Not an attorney (PhD PE, electrical), I just have worked with a lot of them as an expert witness, and am married to one now.
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