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Old June 2, 2015, 07:35 PM   #1
EliteGeek91
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Texas 14" Pistol Grip Shotgun?

Hey all, I have a technical question.

I was told that if I purchased a shotgun, that came from the factory as PGO (Pistol Grip only, NO rifle stock), that I could install a 14" barrel (Or cut mine to 15.5"), and it'd be legal, here in Texas.

How true is that?

Talked to three gun stores, and received three different answers. Still awaiting feedback from email to ATF.

Gun store 1: No, it's still a shotgun, must file a Form 1 (SBS).

Gun store 2: Yes, if you file a $5 AOW stamp. (I was told it's not AOW, unless 26", or shorter. Mine is 28.5").

Gun store 3: Yes that's true, email ATF with serial, etc, and request an approval form, stating it can legally have a 14" barrel, and isn't considered a "rifle shotgun", but a firearm.

Anyways, yes i confirmed with Mossberg, that my serial was sold as a PGO, I currently have a Birds Head grip, and 18.5" barrel, but would like to have it cut down to 15.5", which would be an overall length of 28.5".

So what do I need to do, to legally possess the firearm with a 14"-15.5" barrel in Texas? And yes I have a trust, etc for a Form 1. I have multiple SBR's, and suppressors


Thanks for any, and all help!
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Old June 2, 2015, 09:07 PM   #2
FITASC
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Quote:
(I was told it's not AOW, unless 26", or shorter. Mine is 28.5").

????????? With a PGO and a short barrel, how are you NOT under the minimum length? I had a PGO Mossberg 500, two shots and I put a regular stock on it so my AOW became moot.
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Old June 2, 2015, 09:45 PM   #3
Bill DeShivs
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ATF ruled that a PGO only gun (never had a stock) only needs to meet the overall minimum length requirement of 26 inches, minimum.
The barrel can be any length- as long as the gun is 26".
Proving that to a cop might be difficult. I would carry a copy of the ruling with the gun.
Check your state laws.
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Old June 2, 2015, 09:46 PM   #4
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You cant pay $5 to make an AOW. It IS $5 to TRANSFER an already registered AOW.

To make one is a $200 tax just like a SBR or SBS. So that part is not correct in the advise above.

You can do a Form 1 and pay $200 to make your gun into an SBS (barrel length under 18"). You can buy a AOW from a manufacture and only pay the $5 transfer, but the cost of making the AOW is going to be included in the cost of that gun

I dont think there is any way around those costs.

Just saw the above post re. PGO guns. I didnt know that.
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Old June 2, 2015, 10:00 PM   #5
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Bill, thank you very much. Shark thanks too. FIT, please don't be stupid. I know what I'm talking about.

Bill, I'll definitely print that off, and carry with me
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Old June 2, 2015, 10:19 PM   #6
EliteGeek91
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Came across this, from another person who contacted the ATF. He told me to also contact them, and provide them with serial, and specs, and they'll write up that letter.

http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/testttt20001.pdf
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Old June 2, 2015, 11:00 PM   #7
Tom Servo
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You'll often run into state laws more restrictive than federal laws. However, Texas penal code appears to be in agreement with the ATF opinion:

Quote:
"Short-barrel firearm" means a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
To be legal in either case, the gun has to meet these criteria:
  • must have been manufactured with a pistol grip, not a stock
  • cannot have a stock installed (otherwise it's a short-barrel shotgun)
  • must be 26" or more OAL
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Old June 2, 2015, 11:53 PM   #8
EliteGeek91
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Yep... So then I'm perfectly legal. And to the guy laughing, Birds Head grip adds length, even a 14" barrel with that grip, measures 26.5".

Thanks
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Old June 3, 2015, 01:41 AM   #9
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC
????????? With a PGO and a short barrel, how are you NOT under the minimum length?
The receiver, itself, is pretty long. From the bolt face, back, there's a little over 7.25 inches of receiver.

With a 14" barrel, that means you only need to find another 4.75 inches (and some change).
Or, with a 15.5" barrel, you only need to come up with 3.25 inches (and some change).


For the most common version of the non-NFA 14" "PGO" Mossberg you're working with:
14" - barrel
7.25" - receiver
5.25" - grip (Shockwave Raptor)
-------
26.5" total
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Old June 3, 2015, 09:31 AM   #10
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
You'll often run into state laws more restrictive than federal laws. However, Texas penal code appears to be in agreement with the ATF opinion... the gun has to meet these criteria:
  • must have been manufactured with a pistol grip, not a stock
  • cannot have a stock installed (otherwise it's a short-barrel shotgun)
I'm not sure I concur with your interpretation.

Let's look at the TX Penal Code 46.01(10) again, my emphasis underlined.
Quote:
"Short-barrel firearm" means a rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
To me, this says that there are 3 classes of "short-barreled weapon" under 46.01(10):
  1. Rifle with a barrel length less than 16"
  2. Shotgun with a barrel length less than 18"
  3. Weapon made from a rifle or shotgun with an OAL less than 26"
My key point—and the reason I emphasize the term "made from"—is that a PGO shotgun isn't necessarily "made from" a shotgun. It simply IS a shotgun. Thus, it would presumably be subject to the barrel length limitation in #2.

The issue is that Penal Code never defines the term "shotgun", but nothing anywhere in Chapter 46 says anything about shoulder stocks, so IMHO the conservative interpretation of 46.01(10) is that any small-caliber smoothbore firearm is a shotgun whether or not it comes from the factory with a shoulder stock attached.

That said, if the OP buys a PGO shotgun with an 18" barrel and installs a 14" barrel himself, it seems to me that the weapon would indeed be "made from" a shotgun and would be legal "as altered" if the 26" OAL requirement is met. However, I would recommend retaining documentation showing that the modification had been performed. It would also be prudent to get confirmation from an attorney familiar with TX law, which would not necessarily be the case with the ATF.

Mandatory disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice. Caveat emptor and YMMV.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 3, 2015 at 09:45 AM. Reason: stuff added and then reworded
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Old June 3, 2015, 12:12 PM   #11
Tom Servo
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Quote:
That said, if the OP buys a PGO shotgun with an 18" barrel and installs a 14" barrel himself, it seems to me that the weapon would indeed be "made from" a shotgun and would be legal "as altered" if the 26" OAL requirement is met.
Yeah, it's tricky. It's certainly a game of semantics.

The ATF doesn't consider a PGO to be a shotgun, per se. As such, the owner of one of those 14" dealies could argue that it wasn't made from a shotgun. Of course, that argument will probably be made in a courtroom, not during the arrest.
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Old June 3, 2015, 01:30 PM   #12
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Of course, that argument will probably be made in a courtroom, not during the arrest.
Which is just another reason to be absolutely certain that you know your State laws well, before moving ahead.

I can't remember which it was, but one of the states that I have lived in (or nearly moved to) had a definition of a shotgun that would be a problem here.

Basically, a shotgun was anything 'designed to fire multiple projectiles ... from a smooth bore'. At the state level, it didn't matter if it was a black powder firearm, a handgun, a "PGO" firearm, a shot shell air gun, or a shotgun. If it fired multiple projectiles and had a smooth bore, it was a shotgun. And OAL restrictions mandated an 18" barrel for all "shotguns".



State-level definitions are a real pain in the butt, and rarely well written.
Utah, for example, defines "short barrel shotgun" and "short barrel rifle" (poorly) but they don't define "shotgun" or "rifle" - even though the definitions of SBS and SBR are dependent upon the words "rifle" and "shotgun".
And their definition of a handgun is written so poorly that everyone interprets it differently, particularly when considering designs that don't fit the definition:
Quote:
"Handgun" means a pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which a shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches.
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Old June 3, 2015, 05:19 PM   #13
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As for texas, i dont know, i dont live or work anywhere near texas.
However, at the federal level, yes, a pgo "shotgun" that came from the factory that way is not classified as a shotgun by atf. Nor is it classified as a weapon made from a shotgun.
To avoid being an aow, it must have an overall length of 26". Barrel length does not matter.
Just fyi, it is classified as a "firearm". This is a small class where guns that do not fit any other class go.
This is also why the aow super shortys are made from these pgo guns, as you cannot make an aow from a shotgun, and if had had a stock, it would be a shotgun. A super shorty made from an originally stocked gun would be an sbs, even if it then only had a pg on it, because it would be a "weapon made from a shotgun".
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Old June 3, 2015, 05:23 PM   #14
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Really, if you read all of the atf definitions, the pg only "shotgun" is a destructive device.
No, no one calls it that.
Since it is not a "shotgun", and since it has a bore over 1/2" in diameter, it is a destructive device. Shotguns are specifically exempted from being destructive devices.
Supposedly a big hush thing just happened with atf, some members of congress, and high ups in nra about this, as someone finally realized how screwed up this is.
Since for many years these guns have been sold as non-registered "firearms", when technically, they are nfa weapons.
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Old June 3, 2015, 05:35 PM   #15
dogtown tom
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carguychris Quote
My key point—and the reason I emphasize the term "made from"—is that a PGO shotgun isn't necessarily "made from" a shotgun. It simply IS a shotgun.
Nope. On the 4473 it transfers as an "Other Firearm". Although commonly referred to as a "PGO shotgun"........it's not. It's a "firearm with a pistol grip that expels a shotgun shell". The instructions to Question 18 Type of Firearm explain it for the dealer. The ATF definition of shotgun requires a shoulder stock, and as a PGO straight from the factory has never had a shoulder stock it is not a shotgun.
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Old June 3, 2015, 05:56 PM   #16
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If anything, this just ahows how screwy our gun laws are. Even the regulating body cant figure it out.
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Old June 3, 2015, 08:52 PM   #17
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Dogtown, I'm well aware that the ATF considers a PGO shotgun to be an "Other Firearm " for transfer purposes. However, my point is that the ATF definition isn't necessarily the controlling factor, because the question really concerns chapter 46 of the TX Penal Code, which does not refer to the ATF definition of the term "shotgun", or any other specific definition for that matter.

If one were to take a group of random people including a few average gun owners who aren't legal beagles like us, and then show them a picture of a PGO shotgun and ask them "Whuzzat", most of them are likely to answer "Shotgun." This may include the cops, who may not care what a Form 4473 says!
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Old June 3, 2015, 10:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
carguychris Dogtown, I'm well aware that the ATF considers a PGO shotgun to be an "Other Firearm " for transfer purposes. However, my point is that the ATF definition isn't necessarily the controlling factor, because the question really concerns chapter 46 of the TX Penal Code, which does not refer to the ATF definition of the term "shotgun", or any other specific definition for that matter.
Lacking a definition under state law does not change what the firearm actually is.

Quote:
If one were to take a group of random people including a few average gun owners who aren't legal beagles like us, and then show them a picture of a PGO shotgun and ask them "Whuzzat", most of them are likely to answer "Shotgun." This may include the cops, who may not care what a Form 4473 says!
True.
But that doesn't make a PGO a "shotgun" either.
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Old June 3, 2015, 10:39 PM   #19
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There are other state law examples i have heard of that define some kind of firearm differently than federal law does.
Which, sometimes makes things unnecesarily complicated.
The op might have to consult with the texas state pd, or state attorney for a definition.
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Old June 3, 2015, 10:48 PM   #20
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If anything, this just shows how screwy our gun laws are. Even the regulating body cant figure it out.
This. Just. Drives. Me. Nuts.

Especially guns laws but other laws too. And tax codes and building codes.

Being a regular, average guy my skin in the game is to live by these rules. That's MY part of the 'social contract'.

The other part of the 'social contract' is on the men and women making the rules. They must write the rules so that they are clear and an average guy like me can understand them and an average guy like a cop can enforce them. If they do NOT do this I would say they are lazy and ignorant and uninformed and they should be ashamed of themselves and those rules and regulations should be tossed back to them to be redone.
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Old June 4, 2015, 11:42 AM   #21
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
...my point is that the ATF definition isn't necessarily the controlling factor, because the question really concerns chapter 46 of the TX Penal Code, which does not refer to the ATF definition of the term "shotgun", or any other specific definition for that matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom
Lacking a definition under state law does not change what the firearm actually is.
I agree completely. The trouble is—to paraphrase what Tom Servo mentioned earlier—that argument may have to be made in a courtroom, not during the arrest.

Frankly, this thread is making me think that TX really needs to rewrite Penal Code 46.01(10) to more closely reflect 26 U.S. Code § 5845(a), (c), and (d). Perhaps a project for the 2017 legislative session?
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Old June 18, 2015, 04:44 PM   #22
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All the facts have already been talked about.

I think this is the gun (info) that may have started this discussion. It's an excellent informational read for anyone interested in the subject.

http://shockwavetechnologies.com/site/?page_id=88%2F

Lots of sources and facts cited. Short answer, as has been said here already, it's legal from the Federal law viewpoint. Your State laws of course could vary.

Now the big question or comment is how likely are you to find a law enforcement officer who will know about this "loophole" in the law ?! I would as a bare minimum plan on getting arrested if out and about with this thing and an unfriendly encounter with LE occurs. But undoubtedly you will win the civil lawsuit for wrongful arrest afterwards. Personally it's just not worth the potential hassle. I live in an NFA friendly state - Georgia - and can own conventional BATFE Form 1 & 4 SBS'.

Regards,

Rob
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