Shotgun Capacity/Questiions in Massachusetts

ARV pretty much has it covered. That's the current thoughts of EOPS.

Is that the official interpretation of EOPS, or just Ron Glidden's opinion?


This is the best explanation I have heard and I really like it!

Only it doesn't hold up to scrutiny because the law specifically says fixed or detachable. I assume your magazine tube holds shells when it's affixed to your shotgun, right?


MGL Chapter 140 said:
“Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with,.22 caliber ammunition.


I don't think Glidden even bothers to read the laws. He just "knows" them, like most cops.
 
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Winner!

OK folks, I do have an answer to the tube-fed mags in MA. At the MA Firearms Law Update I asked Ron about this.

If the tube is integral with the gun, the tube itself can never be considered a "large capacity feeding device". The rationale for this is that if you removed the tube and tried to "load" it with rifle/shotgun rounds, they would just fall out of the tube (the spring/guts of the tube mag won't stay in place either) and thus a hollow tube isn't a "feeding device".

This holds for semi-auto, pump, or lever-action guns.



Is that the official interpretation of EOPS, or just Ron Glidden's opinion?




Only it doesn't hold up to scrutiny because the law specifically says fixed or detachable. I assume your magazine tube holds shells when it's affixed to your shotgun, right?

*Originally Posted by MGL Chapter 140, Section 121
“Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with,.22 caliber ammunition.



I don't think Glidden even bothers to read the laws. He just "knows" them, like most cops.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/magazine

mag·a·zine   [mag-uh-zeen, mag-uh-zeen] Show IPA
noun
1.
a publication that is issued periodically, usually bound in a paper cover, and typically contains essays, stories, poems, etc., by many writers, and often photographs and drawings, frequently specializing in a particular subject or area, as hobbies, news, or sports.
2.
a room or place for keeping gunpowder and other explosives, as in a fort or on a warship.
3.
a building or place for keeping military stores, as arms, ammunition, or provisions.
4.
a metal receptacle for a number of cartridges, inserted into certain types of automatic weapons and when empty removed and replaced by a full receptacle in order to continue firing.

Please demonstrate the proper way to remove the magazine from a tube fed shotgun, and replace it with a full one.

Also, because it basically "falls apart" when removed from the gun, and it JUST a metal tube with no other attached components, it is not a "device". By your definition, any piece of pipe in my garage that I can screw on my shotgun receiver is now a "device" and a "magazine" and would subject me to criminal prosecution.
 
Winner!

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/magazine

Please demonstrate the proper way to remove the magazine from a tube fed shotgun, and replace it with a full one.

Also, because it basically "falls apart" when removed from the gun, and it JUST a metal tube with no other attached components, it is not a "device". By your definition, any piece of pipe in my garage that I can screw on my shotgun receiver is now a "device" and a "magazine" and would subject me to criminal prosecution.


So your telling me that a magazine tube isn't a feeding device? OK then, you must be right.

Hint: dictionary.com's definition is not correct.
 
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To be clear, I am not endorsing that position, just posting a link to it.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/magazine



Please demonstrate the proper way to remove the magazine from a tube fed shotgun, and replace it with a full one.

Also, because it basically "falls apart" when removed from the gun, and it JUST a metal tube with no other attached components, it is not a "device". By your definition, any piece of pipe in my garage that I can screw on my shotgun receiver is now a "device" and a "magazine" and would subject me to criminal prosecution.

Using the same analysis, the internal magazine on my Remington Model 700 Mountain LSS with a floor plate wouldn't have a magazine because I couldn't remove the floor plate and load the magazine. I'm not sure that anyone would be able to successfully argue that it's not it does not have a magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device.
 
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A fixed magazine tube is obviously a feeding device. The definition itself includes an exception for an attached .22 magazine tube - if no magazine tube met the definition, such an exception would be unnecessary.
 
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A fixed magazine tube is obviously a feeding device. The definition itself includes an exception for an attached .22 magazine tube - if no magazine tube met the definition, such an exception would be unnecessary.

By this logic, nearly all tube fed shotguns are/have permanently affixed "Large Capacity feeding devices" thanks to mini shells that are less than 2" in length.
 
By this logic, nearly all tube fed shotguns are/have permanently affixed "Large Capacity feeding devices" thanks to mini shells that are less than 2" in length.



I'm just reading the letter of the law here. Any faulty logic is on whoever wrote and passed the law. I agree that the logic is faulty, that's my point.

Heads the DA wins, tails you lose.

That.
 
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I'm just reading the black letter law here. Any faulty logic is on whoever wrote and passed the law. I agree that the logic is faulty, that's my point.

And I agree as well. What makes this even more interesting is that if the law were to be enforced as black letter as it stands, not only will a good amount of people in MA with a tube fed shotgun be in violation of the law, but so would a good amount of dealers that transferred said shotgun to them.

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter269/Section10F

hopefully i will be able to free myself of this state in the next year or so
 
For more evidence, look at the federal law which was apparently the basis of the MA law:

27 CFR 478.11 said:
Large capacity ammunition feeding device. A magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device for a firearm manufactured after September 13, 1994, that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, or a fixed device for a manually operated firearm, or a fixed device for a firearm listed in 18 U.S.C. 922, Appendix A.

Note how the MA law specifically excludes the exception for "a fixed device for a manually operated firearm." I doubt that was an accident.
 
I think you mean Fed law, not MA. Somebody pointed that out somewhere in this thread IIRC.

No, I meant what I said. The federal law included an exception for "a fixed device for a manually operated firearm." The MA law, which is mostly a copy of the federal law, does not. Why would that be?
 
I think you mean Fed law, not MA. Somebody pointed that out somewhere in this thread IIRC.

I think he means MA law, and how they specifically did not include it to make the law more stringent

Edit: beat me to it. I think it could be to form a conspiracy against all MA gun owners so that we may all be prosecuted one day. Well, at least the ones with tube fed shotguns
 
By this logic, nearly all tube fed shotguns are/have permanently affixed "Large Capacity feeding devices" thanks to mini shells that are less than 2" in length.

if we're going to be pedantically reading the wording and agonizing over it..... let's read it pedantically and agonize over it....

more than five shotgun shells

mini-shells are not "shotgun shells" they are "mini shells"
(not to be confused with Minié balls which i'm sure either exist, or someone will invent)

a mini-shell is not a standard shell (2 3/4" - 3")

/devil'sadvocate
 
I think he means MA law, and how they specifically did not include it to make the law more stringent

Edit: beat me to it. I think it could be to form a conspiracy against all MA gun owners so that we may all be prosecuted one day. Well, at least the ones with tube fed shotguns

I think that the MA law was written as it is purposely to make "high capacity" shotguns illegal regardless of the type of action. I also think that the people interpreting the law the way it's currently interpreted are not reading it, are using logical gymnastics to purposely misinterpret it, are confusing it with the federal law, or some combination of the above. I don't see how anyone could read it and come to any other conclusion.
 
if we're going to be pedantically reading the wording and agonizing over it..... let's read it pedantically and agonize over it....



mini-shells are not "shotgun shells" they are "mini shells"
(not to be confused with Minié balls which i'm sure either exist, or someone will invent)

a mini-shell is not a standard shell (2 3/4" - 3")

/devil'sadvocate


There's no definition of "shotgun shell" in the MGLs, so I guess you'd have to convince a jury that a short shotgun shell isn't a shotgun shell. Good luck with that.
 
There's no definition of "shotgun shell" in the MGLs, so I guess you'd have to convince a jury that a short shotgun shell isn't a shotgun shell. Good luck with that.

Though you might have some luck convincing a judge that capacity should be measured in terms of the number of shells of the type stamped into the shotgun, rather than some other size later developed. You also might have some luck convincing a judge that a shotgun which was legal when sold (before the mini shells became available) should not become illegal through no action of the legislature.

Of course, both of these things involve you trying to convince a judge, which means you're already pretty far up the brown smelly river.
 
if we're going to be pedantically reading the wording and agonizing over it..... let's read it pedantically and agonize over it....



mini-shells are not "shotgun shells" they are "mini shells"
(not to be confused with Minié balls which i'm sure either exist, or someone will invent)

a mini-shell is not a standard shell (2 3/4" - 3")

/devil'sadvocate

I'm not aware of MA defining shotgun shell by length. With that said I think that we as gun owners are at a significant disadvantage with how this law is written, because it gives full authority to enforce a very vague definition. The inherent problem is not the shotguns themselves, but the magazines that are attached to them. Same can be said for pistol caliber lever action guns. I at one point was seriously going to avoid buying a 20" in 38/357 because of the tubular magazine capacity. Ridiculous i know. But to fully enforce this law the state would need to prosecute almost every gun owner (for owning) and dealer in MA (for transfering said large capacity feeding device)

Some may find it riskier than others tiptoeing to stay withing the full means of the law.
 
With that said I think that we as gun owners are at a significant disadvantage with how this law is written, because it gives full authority to enforce a very vague definition.

Of course, both of these things involve you trying to convince a judge, which means you're already pretty far up the brown smelly river.

Which is the real point of this and every other gun law that we have. Keep us guessing, keep us on the defensive, keep us on our knees.


But to fully enforce this law the state would need to prosecute almost every gun owner (for owning) and dealer in MA (for transfering said large capacity feeding device)

I disagree there. Just one publicized arrest would result in a chilling effect for all legal dealers and owners across the state. They wouldn't even need a conviction (and probably wouldn't even want to try.) It's not about enforcing the laws, it's about enforcing authority. Big difference.
 
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This thread makes me want to take a shot of some Federal 00 mouthwash from my 5 round tube fed shotgun.
 
so was any consensus ever reached on the issue about pump action shotgun extended magazine tubes being illegal? I just purchased a +2 extension for my 4 round Remington 870...
 
so was any consensus ever reached on the issue about pump action shotgun extended magazine tubes being illegal? I just purchased a +2 extension for my 4 round Remington 870...

I think it's safe to say it is and always will be a grey area.

That being said I don't think that will be the thing that 'brings you down'.
 
so was any consensus ever reached on the issue about pump action shotgun extended magazine tubes being illegal? I just purchased a +2 extension for my 4 round Remington 870...

A "consensus" will only help you if it is a jury reaching that conclusion, and none of us want to find out that way.

That said, EOPS has told me that tube fed shotguns are OK. Due to the wording in MGL, there are others who disagree and I can fully understand that due to the ambiguity of the law. That is the natural result of laws written by clueless morons who have absolutely no grasp on the subject matter they are dealing with.

To make matters worse for those that believe extended mag tubes are illegal, mini-shells make almost all "standard" mag tubes exceed the magic number of "5" and thus almost every tube-fed shotgun would be illegal using that logic.
 
so was any consensus ever reached on the issue about pump action shotgun extended magazine tubes being illegal? I just purchased a +2 extension for my 4 round Remington 870...

By adding the extension you have a post-ban fixed magazine that is capable of accepting 6 shotgun shells. This meets the definition of a “Large capacity feeding device” as it's written in the actual law.

Chapter 140 said:
“Large capacity feeding device”, (i) a fixed or detachable magazine, box, drum, feed strip or similar device capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition or more than five shotgun shells; or (ii) a large capacity ammunition feeding device as defined in the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(31) as appearing in such section on September 13, 1994. The term “large capacity feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with,.22 caliber ammunition.

Post-ban "large capacity feeding devices," in and of themselves, are illegal according to Chapter 140, Section 131M. The penalty can be up to $10,000 and 10 years in prison. (And a lifetime DQ even if they just stick you with the minimum penalty.)

Chapter 140 said:
No person shall sell, offer for sale, transfer or possess an assault weapon or a large capacity feeding device that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994. Whoever not being licensed under the provisions of section 122 violates the provisions of this section shall be punished, for a first offense, by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and for a second offense, by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000 or by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 15 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

EOPS interpretations don't mean shit. EOPS works for the Governor, which is a different branch of government than the one who would be prosecuting you. They shouldn't even exist, but while they do they should keep their (often wrong) interpretations to themselves. All they do is add confusion to an already confusing set of laws. (I suspect that is the true reason for their existence.)

In any case, before anyone decides to trust their liberty to an EOPS interpretation they would do well to remember who EOPS works for.
 
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EOPS interpretations don't mean shit. EOPS works for the Governor, which is a different branch of government than the one who would be prosecuting you. They shouldn't even exist, but while they do they should keep their (often wrong) interpretations to themselves. All they do is add confusion to an already confusing set of laws. (I suspect that is the true reason for their existence.)

In any case, before anyone decides to trust their liberty to an EOPS interpretation they would do well to remember who EOPS works for.

I'm not going to disagree with these statements. However, who would YOU advise going to to get a definitive answer on this or any gun law issue? That is a serious question.

And if you believe them to be illegal, how would you advise dealing with the mini-shell issue in standard (low capacity) shotgun tubes? Again, another serious question.
 
I'm not going to disagree with these statements. However, who would YOU advise going to to get a definitive answer on this or any gun law issue? That is a serious question.

And if you believe them to be illegal, how would you advise dealing with the mini-shell issue in standard (low capacity) shotgun tubes? Again, another serious question.

This specific law is already definitive in my opinion, but to answer your question: The Judicial branch is tasked with interpreting the law. Not lackeys on the Governor's payroll. (Well, at least not directly...)

The mini-shell question is an interesting one and the MGLs don't provide enough information to make black letter law. Unfortunately we'd need to see some case law. I sort of doubt we ever will since it I think it would be a tough case for a prosecutor to win, but I've been wrong before.
 
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