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Old March 9, 2017, 03:29 PM   #1
DPris
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Mossberg Shockwave

Mossberg's on the verge of shipping, I have an advance sample in limbo at my dealer right now.

Just to advise:

Mossberg does have the ATF nod of approval, I have a copy of their two-page letter to Mossberg greenlighting it, even with 14-inch barrel, as a GCA "firearm" and NOT an NFA "firearm".

In other words, the feds require nothing more than the usual 4473 process at the dealer/state level.
No tax stamp.

But- in my state the barrel may be illegal under state law.
We're trying to get a determination from the appropriate state agency, who will be conferring with the local ATF office to discuss the feds' reasoning & see if it can be applied to state law enforcement.

In the meantime, the gun sits in lockup, pending notice back from the state.

Check VERY thoroughly on YOUR local law before ordering one of these.
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Old March 10, 2017, 08:15 AM   #2
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So, how does this get the nod of approval from the ATF when their regs say 18" barrel or longer for no tax stamp??
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Old March 10, 2017, 09:14 AM   #3
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It is classed as "any other weapon". If it is made that way by the manufacture.
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Old March 10, 2017, 09:17 AM   #4
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There is also a Remington 870 model I found on GB, I also was questioning the legal-ness of these. Looks like a fun toy. They say its not an AOW due to its length of 26.50.


This is the description I found on GB.

"Description: A 14" Mossberg 500 12 Gauge that's NOT considered a Short-Barreled Shotgun or an AOW!
The Asylum Weaponry AW500 (The Gatekeeper) was built on a Mossberg 500-receiver. The overall length of the firearm is 26 1/2".
By definition of what the ATF considers a shotgun the original firearm was never a shotgun despite it's ability to fire shotgun shells.
This firearm is considered an "other" because in order to fit the definition of a shotgun it must have been manufactured with a shoulder stock in order to be "fired from the shoulder". Therefor it cannot be considered a "sawn-off" shotgun either as it never met the ATF's criteria to be a shotgun in the first place.
Since this firearm is not a shotgun, it is not required to have at least an 18" barrel. Also the overall length exceeds 26" therefor it cannot be classified as a AOW (Any Other Weapon) which would require a tax stamp and Class III registration with the ATF.
DO NOT install a shoulder stock or a shorter length pistol grip on this firearm! If proper paperwork is not filed with the ATF Prior to doing so this would be a violation of Federal Law."
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Old March 10, 2017, 12:37 PM   #5
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No- The Shockwave is NOT an AOW, requires NO stamp, does NOT fall under 1934.

While it makes no sense to me, ATF is apparently considering it a "handgun", which puts it under GCA 68.

Looks like they're keying off the 26 length in combo with that specific grip.
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Old March 10, 2017, 06:31 PM   #6
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I'm still at a loss here. So if someone made a "SIG-brace" for this, I guess it would be legal as well, correct?
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Old March 11, 2017, 12:45 AM   #7
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Yup, and the additional length means you can have a shorter barrel.

Consider http://www.blackacestactical.com/ .
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Old March 11, 2017, 10:46 AM   #8
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As legally confusing as this is, would it be prudent to mess with this gun at all?
Is there any actual advantage over many other weapons that won't be as legally risky to own?
Can you imagine the situations that could arise with law enforcement and range staff?
Just a thought.
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Old March 11, 2017, 12:40 PM   #9
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Guns of this type, traditionally referred to as PGOs (Pistol Grip Only), have very limited utility.

Best feature is compact carry/concealment, worst is that the lack of stock reduces accuracy and "pointability".

I have a Class III 870 with folding stock that takes up the same amount of space & gives me the ability to transport in a backpack, and use in a tight spot very close-in folded, while providing the option of opening up the stock for true aimed shots at longer distances.

But- That one required federal approval & the Shockwave doesn't.

Getting clear documentation in or from your local jurisdiction would help with LE encounters among officers not aware of the new gun, and acquiring a copy of the ATF letter to keep with the gun would be advisable.

And wordage in the letter says that concealed carry of the Shockwave MAY result in ATF changing its classification.
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Old March 12, 2017, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
As legally confusing as this is, would it be prudent to mess with this gun at all?
Is there any actual advantage over many other weapons that won't be as legally risky to own?
Can you imagine the situations that could arise with law enforcement and range staff?
Just a thought.
Without politicizing things too much, Ronald Turk's leaked white paper implicitly suggests that the ATF is terrified of drawing the wrath of the Trump administration. And perhaps rightly so, considering the rough treatment of certain other government agencies.

Such "shotguns" has actually been interpreted as non-NFA for years now , but have only really been constructed by individuals and Black Aces Tactical. However, it's possible that the threat of a national rollout by a major firearms manufacturer could have provoked a reinterpretation and reclassification by a less friendly ATF. AOW's aren't well defined, so it was always a possibility.

But now with a cowed ATF, it's the perfect time for Mossberg.

If you show up at the range with a crudely hacksawed shotgun mumbling about internets, I would imagine things could get a little uncomfortable for a while.

If you show up with the cool new non-NFA "shotgun" that's in all the gun magazines and with Mossberg's official determination letter in the box, you'll be fine.

The main advantage over a traditional PGO shotgun is cool factor.
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Old March 12, 2017, 12:15 PM   #11
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It's not the range I'd be concerned with.

It's a potential encounter with LE in a carry or "use" situation.
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Old March 12, 2017, 07:38 PM   #12
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Y'all need to stop questioning the legality of these. I think Mossberg knows what's legal and illegal.
And for all of you questioning the practicality of them... Who cares? Just look at this. Tell me you don't want one.

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Old March 12, 2017, 07:42 PM   #13
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I don't want one. Looks like it'd be a beast to shoot. Besides, it's a Mossberg.
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Old March 12, 2017, 08:35 PM   #14
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I think I'd like one in 410 with a rifled barrel. I have fired my 500 from the hip and it is not fun.
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Old March 12, 2017, 10:42 PM   #15
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No one HERE is questioning the legality of the guns.
They are questioning the ignorance or interpretation of law enforcement agencies.
I don't want one, either. They are the same overall size as most other PGO shotguns- just with a shorter barrel and longer pistol grip.

And it's NOT classified as "Any Other Weapon." That's the whole point.
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Old March 12, 2017, 11:16 PM   #16
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They are not shotguns under Federal law - shotguns are designed to be fired from the shoulder. Therefore, no 18" barrel length requirement.

They are not a handgun - handguns may not have a smooth bore.

It's a "firearm" - designed to be fired from the hand but not meeting the definition of a handgun. Current ATF interpretation is that it has no stock and has never had one from the factory and meets an overall length of 26" which makes it not concealable. If it is concealable, it becomes an AOW - and my understanding of current ATF interpretation is that concealing it at all makes it into an AOW and requires a stamp.

I am also not sure it's legal in other states. Florida has a law that closely mimics the NFA on short barrel shotguns but unlike Federal law doesn't define a shotgun, which to me says that if it went to court it would fall under "fact finding" or "common definition" in trial, and I'm sure the Shockwave is considered a shotgun to the average person and common definition even if not under Federal law. South Carolina essentially mimics the NFA and makes it an affirmative defense to prosecution if it's legally registered under Federal law, which the Shockwave is not. So again, I see potential conflict there at the state level.
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Old March 13, 2017, 01:33 AM   #17
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Stormy,
Mossberg does not, in fact, "know the legality" of the model at the state level in all 50 states.

I've discussed that with my contact there & my dealer got through to a higher-up independently.

We were both told that Mossberg does not know which states consider it legal inside their borders according to THEIR state laws, and Mossberg is working on obtaining that info, but doesn't have it yet.

Mossberg has that two-page ATF letter I referred to laying out FEDERAL approval, so that's no longer an issue.
State legality remains very much a case-by-case deal.

Also, in the ATF letter, there's language stating the model IN ITS CURRENT SPECIFIC CONFIGURATION, WITH THAT FACTORY GRIP, is approved, but changing the grip MAY change the classification.

In other words, that factory grip is part of what sustains the overall length requirements.
Swap it with an AR15-style pistol grip that shortens the OAL, for example, would change it from a 68 GCA to an NFA 34 classification.

And there's language in the letter stating that IF CARRIED CONCEALED it MAY change the classification.
Not "if it CAN be concealed", but if it IS carried concealed.
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Old March 14, 2017, 01:39 PM   #18
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Preliminary determination by the agency in my state responsible for firearms issues is that, based on the ATF letter I forwarded to them, ATF is considering the Shockwave a handgun, rather than a shotgun.

This agency, based on ATF reasoning, is advising me that if my dealer runs the background check through the agency as a shotgun for a transfer, it'll be denied.
But, if he runs it through as a handgun, the transfer should go through.

Just FYI as this continues.
Other states will have their own statutory language to deal with that may or may not apply the same reasoning & interpretation.

States are not bound by ATF's ruling & can still enact or enforce their own existing statutes prohibiting the gun.

Key issues are definitional, largely centered around whether it's a shotgun or not.

You & I would say if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
ATF doesn't always take the most obvious route.
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Old March 15, 2017, 10:29 PM   #19
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This should transfer not as a handgun but as the "other"option on the form 4473 like other pistol grip only shotguns. Your state may consider it a handgun but it would seem to be an issue federally to transfer it as a handgun.
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Old March 15, 2017, 11:55 PM   #20
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That's the problem in trying to mesh state & federal laws, much room for confusion.

And that's why I want it in writing.
Denis
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Old March 16, 2017, 12:39 AM   #21
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Hoping they start delivering these soon. I have one on reserve.
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Old March 16, 2017, 03:57 PM   #22
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Latest email today says my state "will not offer any opinion on this firearm" in terms of whether it's legal to possess or not, but will be sending some sort of info to FFL dealers.

Which leaves it up to a court to decide if somebody gets arrested with one under the current state law that appears to prohibit it.

Check carefully in YOUR state!
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Old March 16, 2017, 10:22 PM   #23
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Good times, Denis.

When I was still living in the Land of Green Jello, I sent a few letters to the AG's office for guidance on the stupidly-worded, and poorly defined "firearms" laws of the state.

Two of the things I wanted a response to, specifically, were whether or not my 7.5" SBH was actually a firearm, and what definitions the state would use to classify an AR-15 pistol with a 12.5" barrel. ...Because the 12" maximum overall length bumped them from "handgun" to ... well, nothing.

At least at that time...
Over 12" OAL was not a handgun. (Some interpreted this to mean barrel length - but, again ... bad definition to deal with.)
No shoulder stock meant not a rifle or shotgun; or SBR or SBS.
But there was no "catch-all" for things that color outside the lines.

The definition of "firearm" specifically (and poorly) defined handguns, rifles, shotguns, SBRs, SBSs, and some black powder arms; but said absolutely nothing about something that might not meet any of those definitions.

Sheriff's departments, the Salt Lake ATF branch, the SLC SWAT commander, and everyone else that I asked for a contact kept telling me that only the AG could answer my questions.


The AG's only response was the same as what I later got in Idaho:
"Please consult a dictionary."

Helpful. Very helpful.
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Old March 17, 2017, 01:04 AM   #24
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In my carefully considered opinion, the Utah AG's Office is spectacularly worthless for a regular citizen trying to get information on Utah laws.

A while back I needed clarification on a gun law issue & called 'em.
I was politely told "We don't answer questions of law for the populace at large, go to BCI for that."
Gee, pardon me for asking the state's top legal division a...legal question.

I called BCI & got a very clear answer.
Couple years later, I called BCI to clarify something a local deputy had told me about gun possession by an 18-year-old nephew out on the desert. The BCI agent was very clear & concise, and the deputy was wrong (as I'd thought).

That's a part of the function of BCI- to explain state firearms law.

This go-round, BCI is flatly refusing to render any opinion on how state law applies to this gun, and after receiving an email late this afternoon from a second tier agent there laying out the new "guidance" that BCI plans to send out to dealers (after my prodding), the wording in that "guidance" does not even refer to the Mossberg Model at issue specifically (or mention its 14-inch barrel).

It advises dealers that BCI has become aware that several manufacturers are making bird's-head shotguns, and to get with ATF for directions on how to classify them.
It's the responsibility of the dealer to figure that out, not BCI, it says.

Utterly, completely, totally, and sensationally useless.

I'm pursuing other paths, including a state legislator.
Apparently, while the AG's Office does not have to deal with us regular peons, it does have to answer questions from a member of the state government.
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Old March 17, 2017, 02:42 AM   #25
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Weren't they supposed to start shipping in March?
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