Do SBR/ SBS rules apply for black powder guns?


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Gingerbreadman
November 14, 2007, 05:24 PM
Just like the title says, would a short barreled muzzle loader be a class III weapon?

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PTK
November 14, 2007, 05:31 PM
Nope, not on a Federal level. State and local laws may vary.

El Tejon
November 14, 2007, 05:53 PM
You mean to ask aboutTitle II, not Class III.:)

Gingerbreadman
November 14, 2007, 06:05 PM
What is title II?

El Tejon
November 14, 2007, 06:21 PM
Title II covers all NFA weapons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_II_weapons

In 1968 under the Safe Streets Act the NFA was recodified as Title II of the SSA (aka in the gun culture, the "Gun Control Act of 1968"). Title I weapons are non-NFA, Title II cover NFA weapons.

"Class 3" refers to a type of dealer and not a weapon. However, in the gun business you see this misnomer frequently. "Well, Eyes buys meye machinegun from a Class 3 dealer, therefore it is a Class 3 weapon" (I buy my machine guns from a Class 7 dealer, does that mean I have Class 7 weapons?:D). Heck, "Class 3" weapons is even on t-shirts, ads in SGN and on websites so its just become part of the lexicon.

Here at the High Road we strive to get it right. However, if you say "Class 3" weapon, people will understand what you mean.:)

Gingerbreadman
November 14, 2007, 06:43 PM
Title II=gun.
Class III=dealer.

Thanks for clearing that up.

LAR-15
November 14, 2007, 09:06 PM
It depends on what type of muzzle loader you want to shorten.

musher
November 14, 2007, 09:23 PM
It depends on what type of muzzle loader you want to shorten.

?? :confused:

If it's a muzzle loader, it's not a firearm under federal law afaik

Jim K
November 14, 2007, 09:42 PM
Now that we all understand the difference between Title II and Class 3, I will address my pet peeve. "Black powder" does not mean "muzzle loader" does not mean "antique." Plus, because antiques and muzzle loaders are non-guns in the gun law, that does not mean they are not considered weapons under the rest of the criminal law. So:

ONE. Black powder is a propellant. Nowhere in the federal gun law or (AFAIK) any state or local law is a gun defined by the type of propellant it uses or can use.

TWO. Muzzle loading is a way of loading a firearm. Many muzzle loaders are made today and some can and do use smokeless powder. The federal and many state laws do address muzzle loaders, either directly or by saying something like "do not used fixed ammunition."

THREE. An antique firearm, under federal law, is any gun made prior to January 1, 1899. It is immaterial whether it was designed to use smokeless powder, black powder or whatever. Antique firearms may also include muzzle loaders, but the category also includes many firearms using conventional ammunition. One type or model of firearm may be both a modern arm and an antique (e.g., the U.S. Krag rifle), depending on when the particular example at issue was made.

FOUR. Some people seem to have the idea that a muzzle loader or percussion revolver can be carried concealed even if "modern" guns can't; that it is not armed robbery if an "antique" gun is used; that threatening someone with a percussion revolver cannot be punished since the gun is "not a gun."

Nonsense. Those laws don't address the type of gun, and often don't discuss guns at all, using the term "deadly weapon." Anyone who claims a percussion revolver is not a deadly weapon is an idiot and if he or his lawyer bases his defence on that claim he will go to jail.

Jim

LAR-15
November 14, 2007, 10:04 PM
(g) Antique firearm
The term “antique firearm” means any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Shureshot
November 15, 2007, 06:34 AM
To answer your original question, an antique (muzzleloader) shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18" is still illegal if it has not had the tax payed on it. I am a black powder/muzzleloader, antique gun enthusiast. We has this question come up during a re-enactment. We checked with the BATF on this and they said a shotgun, muzzleloader or not, cannot have a barrel or barrels less than 18" without paying a $500.00 tax on it. So, we don't use them in our re-enactments.

Semper Fi!

El Tejon
November 15, 2007, 07:41 AM
Ummm, why a $500.00 tax and why do they sell blunderbusses with under 18" barrels over the counter?:confused:

ScottsGT
November 15, 2007, 08:05 AM
We checked with the BATF on this and they said a shotgun, muzzleloader or not, cannot have a barrel or barrels less than 18" without paying a $500.00 tax on it.

I thought the tax on title II was $200??

Shureshot
November 15, 2007, 10:16 AM
That was a typo. I meant to type $200.00. Ooops!

Muzzleloader shotguns are not exempt from the tax. Per ATF.

Semper Fi!

Shureshot
November 15, 2007, 10:35 AM
Ummm, why a $500.00 tax and why do they sell blunderbusses with under 18" barrels over the counter?
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It is a $200.00 tax (I made a typo earlier) and is part of the Gun Control Act of 1934. It has to be payed anytime the gun changes ownership, and the gun must have the tax stamp afixed to it at all times.

The only blunderbusses you will see being sold 'over-the-counter' are the non-firing replicas made by Denix, and imported by Replica Weaponry, Inc. They cannot be fired and are only decorations.

At present, only one firing blunderbuss replica is available, aside from custom-made models. Navy Arms has a flintlock blunderbuss replica with an 18-1/2 barrel for around $500.00.

Semper Fi!

PTK
November 15, 2007, 11:01 AM
Shureshot, you are entirely incorrect. I asked the BATFE this very thing in the past - as long as the muzzleloader has not been designed or redesigned to use fixed ammunition, it is perfectly legal to do whatever you want. 2" barrel with a shoulder stock, foregrip, and laser sight? Sure! Doesn't matter, it's a muzzleloader, not a modern firearm.

For example, the LeMat (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_92_187_189&products_id=3497) would be a short-barreled shotgun if it fired cartridges instead of being a muzzleloader. (less than 18" barrel on the shotgun barrel, overall less than 26")

The 1855 Dragoon Pistol (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_92_187_189&products_id=5876) would be a short barreled rifle if it were a cartridge arm (less than 16" barrel with a shoulder stock, overall less than 26")

The Pedersoli Howdah pistol (http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=118&products_id=14020), if it fired cartridges instead of being a muzzleloader, would be a short-barreled shotgun as well, being that the barrels are less than 18" long, and the overall length is less than 26".


Also, in 1934, it was the National Firearms Act, not the Gun Control Act. The GCA was established in 1968, and established Federal Firearms Licenses (gun dealers), while the NFA is what encompasses short rifles, short shotguns, machineguns, silencers, and "any other weapons".

EOD Guy
November 15, 2007, 11:02 AM
To answer your original question, an antique (muzzleloader) shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18" is still illegal if it has not had the tax payed on it. I am a black powder/muzzleloader, antique gun enthusiast. We has this question come up during a re-enactment. We checked with the BATF on this and they said a shotgun, muzzleloader or not, cannot have a barrel or barrels less than 18" without paying a $500.00 tax on it. So, we don't use them in our re-enactments.

Semper Fi!


Not true. Muzzleloaders are considered antiques under the National Firearms Act and are specifically excluded from coverage under the act.

The definition of an antique under the NFA is given in LAR-15's post above. Here is the part of the definition of a firearm in the NFA that excludes antiques from the act:

TITLE 27--ALCOHOL, TOBACCO PRODUCTS, AND FIREARMS

CHAPTER II--BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES,
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

PART 479_MACHINE GUNS, DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES, AND CERTAIN OTHER FIREARMS--Table

Subpart B_Definitions

Sec. 479.11 Meaning of terms.
Firearm. (a) A shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18
inches in length; (b) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as
modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or
barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (c) a rifle having a barrel or
barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (d) a weapon made from a rifle
if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches
or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (e) any other
weapon, as defined in this subpart; (f) a machine gun; (g) a muffler or
a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included
within this definition; and (h) a destructive device. The term shall not include an antique firearm

Also, there are many short barrel rifles and shotguns made before 1899 that BATF has removed from the National Firearms Act and which are unregulated. See Sec IIIA of the C&R List. Sec IIIA of the C&R List (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/curios/sec3a.htm)

There are also many short barrel rifles and shotguns made after 1898 that have been removed from the National Firearms Act and brought under control of the Gun Control Act. See Sec III of the C&R Listing. Sec III of the C&R List (http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/curios/sec3.htm)

mp510
November 15, 2007, 11:22 AM
Muzzleloader shotguns are not exempt from the tax. Per ATF.

I have a book (an identification guide from import division) and it is very clear that muzzle loaders, new or original, may be configured as SBS or SBR without loosing their antique status. This is because of their primitive ignition system. Thus, antique metallic cartrige guns may not be converted to an SBS or SBR configuration without tax payment and approval.

armoredman
November 15, 2007, 12:05 PM
Would EMF be able to sell these, http://www.emf-company.com/black-powder-accessories.htm shoulder stocks specifically for these muzzle loading revolvers, without any caveats, if it were illegal at a Federal level?

ilbob
November 15, 2007, 12:21 PM
There are some BP guns that are not muzzle loaders.

The key seems to be whether or not the firearm uses a fixed cartridge or not, not whether it uses BP.

IANAL, and this is a confusing issue, but AFAIK, it is not legally a firearm under FEDERAL law if it does not use a fixed cartridge.

I do know that Illinois does not care one bit if it uses a cartridge or not. If it goes bang, it is a firearm. Illinois also considers airguns over .18 caliber to be firearms as well as air guns with muzzle velocity exceeding 700 fps, as well as any air gun that uses anything other then BBs. At least that is what the law says.

El Tejon
November 15, 2007, 12:59 PM
Blunderbusses for sale, shipped to your door=>

http://www.militaryheritage.com/musket9.htm

http://www.sittingfoxmuzzleloaders.com/blunderbuss.htm

You will see functional blunderbusses for sale at a regular basis in Friendship or even Feast of the Hunter's Moon. Antique firearms are outside the scope of the NFA.

AntiqueCollector
November 15, 2007, 01:05 PM
FOUR. Some people seem to have the idea that a muzzle loader or percussion revolver can be carried concealed even if "modern" guns can't; that it is not armed robbery if an "antique" gun is used; that threatening someone with a percussion revolver cannot be punished since the gun is "not a gun."

Nonsense. Those laws don't address the type of gun, and often don't discuss guns at all, using the term "deadly weapon." Anyone who claims a percussion revolver is not a deadly weapon is an idiot and if he or his lawyer bases his defence on that claim he will go to jail.

True in many, many cases, but there is one important example of it being true: the federal Gun Free School Zone law, it uses the same definition of "firearm" as the GCA 68/etc., so antiques may be carried within that zone without a CC permit (which some states such as VT don't require and of course there are many open carry states that dopn't require a license).

EOD Guy
November 15, 2007, 02:00 PM
One thing to remember is that the definitions for antique firearms are not the same in the NFA and the GCA. The NFA definition has the prohibition against the firearm using fixed cartridges. In the GCA definition, that prohibition only applies to reproductions of antique firearms, not the original firearms. For instance, under the GCA an original trapdoor Springfield would be an antique while an exact reporduction would not.

LAR-15
November 15, 2007, 05:54 PM
Fixed cartridge guns made in or before 1898 are exempt from the GCA

Only CERTAIN fixed cartridge guns made in or before 1898 are exempt from the NFA:

(g) Antique firearm
The term “antique firearm” means ............................................................. and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

Just because a gun is an 'antique' under the GCA does NOT make it an 'antique' under the NFA

6_gunner
November 15, 2007, 06:08 PM
This got me wondering... Is a cartridge-firing short-barreled shotgun exempt from the tax if it was cut down before 1898? If so, would you need some kind of proof that such a gun was modified before 1898?

mp510
November 15, 2007, 06:15 PM
This got me wondering... Is a cartridge-firing short-barreled shotgun exempt from the tax if it was cut down before 1898? If so, would you need some kind of proof that such a gun was modified before 1898?
The ATF has compiled two lists of firearms removed from the National Firearms Act. One is firearms removed from the NFA, and classified antique. The other is firearms removed from the NFA and classified as curios and relics. Thge lists are very specific- listing specific models and in some instances serial numbers/ serial number ranges.

precisionshootist
November 15, 2007, 11:11 PM
so is the key it being a muzzle loader?

So a SBS or SBR would be ok if it is muzzle loading?
what if it's muzzle loading with smokeless powder and modern primers for ignition?

PTK
November 15, 2007, 11:25 PM
That's fine, as long as it DOES NOT use cartridges.

Shureshot
November 16, 2007, 12:59 AM
From the number of posts, it is obvious that the laws are confusing to most people. In our case, we checked with the ATF before the re-enactment, as well as the Ga. Bureau of Investigation and both organizations said we could not use a muzzleloading shotgun with barrels of less than 18". Ga. even sent an officer down to inspect our arms to make sure it hadn't been cut down. An ATF agent came and took all the serial numbers down on the arms we were using, including the cannons.

We didn't argue. We did not cut down the shotgun. We only wanted to do it for the supply wagons. They routinely carried short-barreled shotguns to protect the cargo from bandits.

It was such a hassle that I will ever again ask any Law Enforcement Agency a question about firearms. I'll ask someone else.

mp510
November 16, 2007, 01:21 AM
Shureshot- see your email. I sent you some resources, that may help explain this to you.

precisionshootist
November 16, 2007, 01:47 AM
An ATF agent came and took all the serial numbers down on the arms we were using, including the cannons.

I'd say you handled it well!

I myself could not have been so diplomatic and likely would have told the ATF agent to get a warrant or get lost.

El Tejon
November 16, 2007, 07:38 AM
Serial numbers taken down by ATF??? None of my black powder weapons have serial numbers. How could they take down serial numbers if they do not exist? Are these reproductions?

This is right out of Glory (the silly scene with serial numbers on Enfields).

Wait, cannons? You had cannons but did not have to pay the DD tax? Did you wonder why the police told you that cannons exempt from the NFA (Gun Control Act of 1934), but short-barrelled antique shotguns are not?

LAR-15
November 16, 2007, 08:37 PM
Black powder muzzleloading cannon replicas of a type made before 1898?

A SBS or SBR has to fired a fixed cartridge (under the NFA- state definitions may vary)

El Tejon
November 16, 2007, 10:08 PM
LAR, yes, just pointing out the silliness of "ATF" agents worried about SBS on exempt weapons, but saying nothing of the "DD" for cannons.:D

I think the "serial numbers" was a give away as well.:D

Davandron
February 9, 2010, 12:59 AM
OK, sorry to make a zombie thread, but this is the only one I've found on THR and it was somewhat inconclusive.

I've been trying to answer the following question before writing to the ATF; "If a modern-design, percussion-firing black powder muzzle loading shotgun is less than 26 inches overall or has a barrel shorter than 18 inches, is it a title II firearm subject to taxation?"

Any confusion on this issue stems immediately from the difference in definitions between the National Firearms Act (26 USC 53) and the Gun Control Act (18 USC 44).

The NFA, which describes that certain firearms are subject to taxation, reads
26 USC Sec. 5845 (a): "...The term "firearm" shall not include an antique firearm..."
26 USC Sec. 5845 (g): "The term "antique firearm" means any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898)..." (source) (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/26C53.txt)

However the GCA, which describes things that are a federal crime to possess, reads
18 USC Sec. 921 (a-3): "The term "firearm" ... does not include an antique firearm."
18 USC Sec. 921 (a-16): "The term "antique firearm" means -
(A) any firearm ... manufactured in or before 1898; or
(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica - (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition...." (source) (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C44.txt)

It's worth nothing that GCA is different because it was amended after Modern Muzzleloading introduced a modern design muzzle loading rifle and a challenge with the ATF was started. Before the GCA was changed the ATF published the following:

Discussion. The cited definitions make it clear that weapons actually manufactured in or before 1898 are not subject to regulation as firearms. Further, modern replicas of antique firearms using an antique form of ignition such as matchlock, flintlock, or percussion cap are also not subject to regulation as firearms.
However, muzzle loading weapons with “in line” firing mechanisms designed or redesigned to use modern conventional firearm primers do not meet the definition of antique firearms and are subject to regulation as a firearm. Primers are not an antique ignition system and are ammunition for firearms subject to regulation.
(source) (http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/qb/atf-quarterly-bulletin-1998-volume-3.html#muzzle)

Then the GCA was amended, so that all muzzle loaders were exempted, however that still leaves the original NFA.

So what do you all think? I have a feeling that ATF would say a modern-design, black powder muzzle loading shotgun with a short barrel is subject to the registration, making and transfer taxation, however is not subject to the ownership and transport restrictions of the GCA.

(Side bar: to previous posters' questions/scenarios; the above says a replica can be as short as you like without worry)

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