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You know the law. Commit a felony, lose your gun rights. Not that that prohibition seems to stop many determine felons from getting a heater when they decide they want one. Strange how they seem to have so little regard for gun control laws, no?

Anyway, Emiliano Fernandez apparently didn’t want to risk filling out a 4473 or picking up a piece on the streets, so decided to craft his own shotgun. That’s not a particularly difficult process as anyone with YouTube access can tell you.

We don’t know how Fernandez chose his design, but, well . . .

(Largo, Florida) Police responded to the 100 block of Cleveland Avenue at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday and said they found Emiliano Fernandez with burns to his chest and a severed left thumb, said Largo police Lt. Paul Amodeo.

Police said on Thursday it wasn’t clear if Fernandez shot his thumb off or if the gun malfunctioned. The homemade shotgun was made out of PVC pipe, copper tubing and a galvanized steel cap, police said. Officers said they also found other gun parts and 23 12- gauge shotgun shells in Fernandez’s bedroom after he agreed to let them search his apartment, according to an arrest affidavit.

PVC pipe? Did he think he was making a potato gun?

He faces charges of being a felon in possession of ammunition and making, possessing or discharging a destructive device. Fernandez was being held Thursday in jail in lieu of $15,000 bail. He’s also being held on an outstanding warrant for failure to pay child support.

The good thing about being in jail for the foreseeable future is Fernandez won’t need help tying his shoes now that he’s down an opposable thumb. We hear they hand out sandals in the Pinellas County lockup. Receiving one of our IGOTD trophies probably won’t brighten his day much, but we pride ourselves on recognizing achievement whenever we find it.


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  1. He was just turning his life around and wanted to do a little recreational turkey hunting.

  2. Obviously maths or research are not his strong points

    Most PVC pipe has maximum working load of 500 to 550 psi and bursts at 2000 to 2500

    Shotgun runs 8 000 to 12 000 depending on loads etc

    Maybe he can get street creed for being “shot”

    • The police found 23 shotgun shells, which makes me think maybe he fired it once successfully before he blew his thumb off with the second round out of a box of 25…

  3. His hitchhiking days are over.

    Still, I give him a big “thumb’s up” for effort. Way up.

  4. Well, now when he fumbles something, he can’t be accused of being “all thumbs”…

  5. What frigging crime was he planning with a pvc gun anyway? He would have done better with a crossbow and not violated gun laws on prohibited possession

    • Or he could’ve gone all 1700’s and gotten into black powder. ATF says they’re not considered “firearms”. Crazy ass government. Doesn’t even understand the definition of firearm.

  6. Clearly an idiot but the story does make me wonder about one thing. Why was he charged with constructing or discharging a DD? It’s legal for a person (an otherwise non-prohibited person – which he isn’t of course) to construct a firearm. Just because he’s stupid and it turned into a bomb that doesn’t mean his intent was to build a bomb. He was building a shotgun. I’ll bet he beats that and winds up doing more jail time for child support than being a felon in possesion of a firearm, if he actually goes to trial for it at all.

    • What do you think the charge should be? Whats the law read in his state? He will not beat it because that is the proper charge. AND he can face federal time as well for Felon in Possession. DD is not just bombs depending on the state definition.

    • As defined in federal law, everything above .50 caliber is a “destructive device”. So normally most shotguns would qualify. The reason why yours probably doesn’t is because of this clause:

      “except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes”

      Effectively, this gives ATF power to designate any model of a shotgun as a DD, simply by issuing a statement that they do not consider it “particularly suitable for sporting purposes”. It’s exactly how they have banned Striker-12 and AA-12.

      (So yes, it’s actually a bit of a surprise that Saiga-12 is on the DD list yet; but I think that eventually all semi-auto shotguns with detachable mags will end up there in one sweep. If they do it like they did Striker, existing owners will be required to register theirs and get the tax stamp, but ATF will waive the actual fee for that one “transfer”.)

      So I wonder if an ATF agent involved took a look at the zip gun, and said, “you know, i don’t think it is suitable for sporting purposes”.

      If so, this would set a very interesting precedent, in light of all those videos on YouTube with people showing off their elaborate zip gun designs…

      • Ahhh. Now that makes total sense then. Thanks for the clarification on DD’s.
        I still doubt that a prosecuter will take it to the mat though, just because it’s a good gun law they can choose to not enforce.

  7. Thank goodness for felon in possession laws. They allow criminals to volunteer for additional prison time.

    Felons can self-differentiate themselves, in a usually not too injurious manner, between those we let out on time and those who still don’t get that their crimes carry consequences.

  8. Geesh! It wasn’t the use of PVC that caused the mishap. It was that damn Remington rifle trigger.

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