This guy apparently wanted free room and board at tax payer expense so yesterday he, indirectly, requested the local police transport him to his new accommodations:
According to information from the Birmingham Police Department, the Birmingham Police 911 Communications Center received a call about 7:00am CT Wednesday, August 12, 2009, from a man stating his intent to kill a Birmingham Police Officer.
The man called the officer by name and further stated that if he could not find that officer, he would kill every Birmingham Police Officer until he found that particular officer.
Detectives gathered information received by the communications center and later identified the caller as the suspect Marlon Simmons.
After obtaining a warrant for the subject, the Birmingham Police Crime Reduction Team (CRT) located the subject at his home at 7232 2nd Avenue North.
The subject was taken into custody without incident, but was found to have a rifle and handgun in his possession.
Nothing particularly blog-worthy there but what is interesting to me is the following:
While executing the search warrant investigators recovered an SKS type rifle, AR-15 rifle, 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun, hobby cord (fuse), body armor, and assorted ammunition.
According to ATF Agents the shotgun was illegal due to its magazine capacity that is between 10 to 20 shotgun shells.
Huh? There is a Federal law on shotgun magazine capacity? Sure, if it is a “Street Sweeper” or some other specific shotgun with a scary name or looks I know the U.S. Attorney General declared them “destructive device” and got them banned. But the above article sounds a little more generic than that. So doing a little more research I came up with this, an ATF letter stating (emphasis added):
A shotgun with a telescoping stock or a magazine greater than 5 rounds is prohibited from importation into the United States under the provisions of section 925(d)(3) of Title 18, United states code (U.S.C.). Assembly of such a shotgun from imported parts is prohibited under 18, U.S.C. Section 922(r). The implementing regulations in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 478, Section 478.39 (formerly Part 178, Section 178.39) prohibit assembly of such a shotgun that contains more than 10 of the imported parts listed in paragraph (c) of the regulation. Please see the enclosed brochure for further information. Assembly of such a shotgun using 10 or less of the listed import parts is not prohibited. The shotgun is also subject to whatever State laws and local ordinances may apply.
I’ve looked up all the Title 18 and 27, section and subsection mumbo-jumbo and was unable to find any references to a five, or any other number, round limit. Did I just miss it? Or did the AG make a declaration that anything over five rounds was “not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes”?
I’ve sent a couple emails out to lawyers to see if I can get this clarified.
Update: My lawyer friend Mike came back with the answer:
This has to do with the import ban on “assault weapons” first put in by (former) NRA member George H.W. Bush in 1989. Under the GCA, the Secretary (now the AG) can bar importation of firearms that are not “particularly suitable for sporting purposes”. The import ban made a list of “assault weapons” unimportable per se. The 10 parts rule is contained in the reg cited. I remember that it was popular for a while to buy an American made Fal receiver and assemble it with 9 foreign parts.
The original AWB in 1994 had the following definition:
Section 921. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter –
(30) The term “semiautomatic assault weapon” means –
(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of –
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the
action of the weapon;
(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and
(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.
After the AWB ban expired in 2004 the ATF kept the definition in their policies to determine what is “particularly suitable for sporting purposes”:
Nonsporting Firearms – such as handguns which do not meet the sporting purpose criteria on ATF Form 4590, any rifle or shotgun with a folding stock or folding bayonet, and shotguns having a fixed magazine with a capacity of more than 5 cartridges and certain military style semiautomatic rifles and shotguns.
I think we have another opportunity for our congress critters to do some reform on our gun laws in the form of an amendment to some “must pass” legislation. In light of the Heller decision the “sporting purposes” definition needs to go. The Second Amendment isn’t about “sporting purposes”.