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Taters and flaming balls

Seen at Carnaby’s:

Section 5845(f), Title 26, United States Code, regulates certain weapons as “destructive devices” which are subject to the registration and tax provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). Section 5845(f)(2) includes within the definition of “destructive device” any type of weapon which will or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel of which has a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter. However, section 5845(f)(3) excludes from the definition of “destructive device” any device which is neither designed or redesigned for use as a weapon and any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device. The definition of “destructive device” in the Gun Control Act (GCA), 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, is identical to that in the NFA.

ATF has previously examined “potato guns” or “spud guns” as described above and has generally determined that such devices using potatoes as projectiles and used solely for recreational purposes are not weapons and do not meet the definition of “firearm” or “destructive device” in either the NFA or GCA. However, ATF has classified such devices as “firearms” and “destructive devices” if their design, construction, ammunition, actual use, or intended use indicate that they are weapons. For example, ATF has classified such devices as “firearms” and “destructive devices” if they are designed and used to expel flaming tennis balls.

So, it’s classified based on which particular projectile it’s intended to be loaded with. Seems sort of, err, random since the actual gun is the same in either case, rather like a squirt gun can also be a flame thrower. By the way, check out Spud Tech for all your potato gun needs.

3 Responses to “Taters and flaming balls”

  1. Darrell Says:

    Errr, I used to shoot nerf balls from my potato gun, but I always dampened them first to give them some mass and keep them from burning. I hope I didn’t break any laws!

    LOL Actually, nerf balls make great ammo in potato guns, and they don’t fly far so you can recover and reuse them.

  2. Sebastian Says:

    I built one of those in college, then took it to New Hampshire and had a lot of fun shelling Lake Winnipesaukee with spuds. At the time I had no idea I could get nailed transporting it through New Jersey, being that I do not have a New Jersey FID card, and under my interpretation of their laws a spud cannon would be a firearm, it would have been illegal. Since the ATF doesn’t consider it a firearm, I don’t think FOPA protections would apply during transport.

  3. Resistance is futile! Says:

    Carnival of Cordite #55

    Greetings, readers! Welcome back from Easter, Passover, Buy-a-Gun-Day, and income tax hell… As you may have already noticed, we have some big news on the personal front. There may be some serious crunches on my time over the next one

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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