Indiana recently repealed its blanket ban on the manufacture, import, sale or possession of “sawed-off” (a.k.a., short-barreled) shotguns. Federal NFA rules still apply. Hoosiers who want a short shotty must go through all the same federal checks and procedures that they would for a license to possess a machine gun, silencer or short-barreled rifle. Indiana po-po don’t anticipate any problems.
Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen [via shelbynews.com]:
Frankly, pistols are still much easier to conceal than a shotgun, and criminals will still want to be able to conceal the fact that they have a gun until they are ready to use the gun. Short-barreled rifles, machine guns, and silencers have been lawful under the same regulations for many years, but it is extremely rare for a person to use one in a crime.
In my 34+ years in law enforcement, I have still not seen any of these federally regulated weapons used in a crime. I feel that there is no need for any state to have a law prohibiting sawed-off shotguns, as they are already heavily regulated at the federal level by the BATF.
The change in law will also permit police officers acting in the course of their employment to possess and use short-barreled shotguns which was previously prohibited by Indiana law – and police can use every advantage they can get, particularly when executing warrants in tight quarters.
Add in a a 10-year sentence enhancement for anyone using a sawed-off shotgun while committing certain crimes (e.g., dealing in a controlled substance) and what’s the big deal? I’m not entirely glad I asked . . .
Why does Indiana need to sanction sawed-off shotguns? Why does Indiana want to put another weapon on the street that will give the bad guys another tool against police officers? They are particularly attractive to bad guys because they are easy to conceal.
A sawed-off shotgun is a nasty weapon. Killing is pretty much its only purpose in life.
Proponents of the new law also argue that all is well because the background check to own one of these weapons is extensive. Tell that to the unlicensed dealer who sells one at a Lake County gun show to a thug off the street.
McCarthy has produced statistics that show many of the guns seized in Chicago originated in Indiana. Kind of casts a pall over Hoosier pride. Makes you wonder how long it will be before Chicago police confiscate a sawed-off shotgun that was purchased in Indiana.
I like to think Indiana is better than this, that Indiana is steeped in common sense that says we don’t need to be endorsing sawed-off shotguns.
It would be wonderful if Indiana joined McCarthy and told the feds that enough is enough – we need to get weapons off our streets.
That would be nwitimes.com commentator Rich James, spouting the usual blood-in-the-streets anti-gun rhetoric. Does Mr. James know that a criminal can saw off a shotgun barrel with a hacksaw in about ten minutes? Mr. James ignores reality to make his point: keeping certain guns double illegal is twice as good!
A quick suggestion for Hoosiers who jump through all the hoops needed to keep and bear a short-barreled shotgun in Indiana: have “Shall Not Be Infringed” engraved on the barrel and send Rich a pic.