Why are sawed-off shotguns illegal?
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
Sawed-off shotguns are not illegal.
Shotguns are illegal if they fit either description:
You can, technically, saw off a shotgun and it will still be legal if it’s both:
The ATF refers to a sawed-off shotgun as a “12-gauge Crude Manufacture.”
They define a “12-gauge Crude Manufacture” as any shotgun with:
Only one of these conditions needs to get met for your shotgun to be illegal.
A sawn-off shotgun is a shotgun with a shorter barrel that’s under 18 inches long.
Sawed-off shotguns usually have a s shortened or absent butt stock.
These are usually similar to a revolver handgun.
The standard shotgun is 26 inches to 28 inches long.
People saw off the barrel of a shotgun to make them more manageable in close quarters.
Sawn-off shotguns are commonly used for:
Sawed-off shotguns became illegal in the National Firearm Act (NFA) of 1934.
This law was put into place to reduce gangster crimes with concealed, sawed-off shotguns.
This gangster violence stemmed from the prohibition in the 1930s.
With the same gun control Act, the NFA also updated gun laws to outlaw:
Sawed-off shotgun laws fall under the National Firearm Act (NFA).
Sawed-off shotgun laws pertain to:
Sawed-off shotgun laws do not apply to:
But, you can own these short-barrel shotguns with:
These sawed-off shotgun laws only apply to sawed-off modern smokeless powder shotguns.
They do not apply to short-barreled muzzleloading black powder shotguns.
But these are federal-level laws.
Your local state laws can differ.
It’s very important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney to make sure.
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Possession of a sawed-off shotgun results in a felony charge and up to 5 years in jail.
Sawed-off shotguns get considered “dangerous weapons” under federal laws.
The sawed-off shotgun penalties are:
But, the penalty for owning a sawed-off shotgun varies by state.
At the state level, owning a sawn-off shotgun can land you with:
Yes, it is a felony to have unauthorized possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
The legal sawed-off shotgun barrel length is 18+ inches.
And the legal length of the overall shotgun is 26”.
You can own a sawed-off shotgun.
To legally own a sawn-off shotgun, all you have to do is:
Tax-paid registrations are from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.