Is the Mossberg 590 Shockwave Legal in New Jersey?

by Evan Nappen, Attorney at Law
AmmoLand News recently reviewed the Mossberg 590 Shockwave Firearm which lead to the question; was it legal in the peoples' republic of of New Jersey?

Mossberg 590 Shockwave Non-NFA Pump-Action
Is the Mossberg 590 Shockwave Non-NFA Pump-Action Legal in New Jersey?
Evan Nappen
Evan Nappen

New Jersey –-(Ammoland.com)- The 12 Gauge Mossberg 590 Shockwave Firearm is described by the factory as being 26.37” in overall length and having 14” barrels.

The company further states the following on its website:

“590® Shockwave -This 12GA offers legendary Mossberg pump-action reliability in a compact 14” barreled package. The Shockwave Raptor bird’s head pistol grip is uniquely shaped to minimize felt recoil…

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives has confirmed the 590 Shockwave as a “firearm” per the Gun Control Act (GCA), but not a Class 3/NFA firearm… ”

But how is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” defined as under New Jersey Gun Law, and is it legal to possess?

To properly determine the answer to this question one must examine a number of definitions in NJ Gun Law.

1) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” a “Firearm” under NJ Law?

Answer: Yes.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1f. Defines “Firearm” as follows:

“Firearm” means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances. It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.” (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is plainly a “Firearm” under NJ Gun Law.

2) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” a “Shotgun” under NJ Gun Law?

Answer: No.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1n. Defines “Shotgun” as follows:

“Shotgun” means any firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and using the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shots or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, or any firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder which does not fire fixed ammunition.” (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is not a “Shotgun” under NJ Gun Law because it is not shoulder fired. It is designed to be fired with two hands.

3) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” a “Handgun” under NJ Gun Law?

Answer: No.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1k. Defines “Handgun” as follows:

“Handgun” means any pistol, revolver or other firearm originally designed or manufactured to be fired by the use of a single hand.” (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is not a “Handgun” under NJ Gun Law because it is not fired with a single hand. It is designed to be fired with two hands.

Mossberg 590 Shockwave with your hand securely in the loop
Mossberg 590 Shockwave with your second hand securely in the loop.

4) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” a “Weapon” under NJ Gun Law?

Answer: Yes.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1r. Defines “Weapon” as follows:

“Weapon” means anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. The term includes, but is not limited to, all (1) firearms, even though not loaded or lacking a clip or other component to render them immediately operable; (2) components which can be readily assembled into a weapon; (3) gravity knives, switchblade knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, or other dangerous knives, billies, blackjacks, bludgeons, metal knuckles, sandclubs, slingshots, cesti or similar leather bands studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood; and (4) stun guns; and any weapon or other device which projects, releases, or emits tear gas or any other substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air.” (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is a “Weapon” under NJ Gun Law because it is capable of lethal use and because it is a firearm.

5) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “590® Shockwave” a “Sawed-off shotgun” under NJ Gun Law?

Answer: No.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1o. Defines “Sawed-off shotgun” as follows:

“Sawed-off shotgun” means any shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle, or a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle, or any firearm made from a rifle or a shotgun, whether by alteration, or otherwise, if such firearm as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is NOT a “Sawed-off shotgun” under NJ Gun Law because it is not a shotgun, it is not made from a shotgun and it is over 26” in overall length.

6) Is the 12 Gauge Mossberg “” a “Destructive device” under NJ Gun Law?

Answer: Yes.

N.J.S. 2C:39-1c. Defines “Destructive device” as follows:

“Destructive device” means any device, instrument or object designed to explode or produce uncontrolled combustion, including (1) any explosive or incendiary bomb, mine or grenade; (2) any rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces or any missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter of an ounce; (3) any weapon capable of firing a projectile of a caliber greater than 60 caliber, except a shotgun or shotgun ammunition generally recognized as suitable for sporting purposes; (4) any Molotov cocktail or other device consisting of a breakable container containing flammable liquid and having a wick or similar device capable of being ignited. The term does not include any device manufactured for the purpose of illumination, distress signaling, line-throwing, safety or similar purposes. (Emphasis added)

The 590® Shockwave is a “Destructive device” under NJ Gun Law because it is capable of firing a projectile greater than .60 Caliber (12 Gauge = .729 Caliber) and it is NOT a shotgun.

Conclusion:

The 590® Shockwave is therefore prohibited in the peoples' republic of of New Jersey as a “Destructive device” under N.J.S. 2C:39-3a.

This statute states: “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any destructive device is guilty of a crime of the third degree.” It carries a maximum State Prison sentence of 5 years.

“Too bad for law-abiding New Jersey gun owners as it is a fun gun to own and shoot for under $450.00 without the NFA stamp hassles.” ~ AmmoLand News

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    hippogiantTomilFlorida Johnguillermo maguireHeed the Call-u Recent comment authors
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    Florida John
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    Florida John

    Your conclusion regarding the question “Is this a sawed-off shotgun” states that the overall length is 26 inches, but the list New Jersey regulation states “Sawed-off shotgun” means any shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle” Isn’t “breech to muzzle” very different than overall length? I thought that a gun’s breach is just the bore, where the cartridge, shell, or projectile is seated. Am I wrong in my understanding?

    oldvet
    Guest
    oldvet

    @FJ you are correct that is why you should always check your local regulations.

    Heed the Call-u
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    Heed the Call-u

    Except that according to the article a shotgun is a should-fired weapon, which this clearly is not.

    Florida John
    Guest
    Florida John

    My argument relates only to item #5 where the article states that the overall length is 26 inches therefore the 18 inches breech to muzzle is relevant. I admittedly am not an expert, but by my understand of “breach” this two dimensions do not refute the regulation applying to this device.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    It SHOULD be…. after all, the Constitution commands FedGov to “regulate” interstate commerce, that means, “make regular”, assure it happens. The clear intent of our Founders is that if one state allows something to its residents, another state cannot prohibit its entry and use into that state. If it is legal to own it in Georgia, it MUST also be able to be brought into New Jersey. Dealers MUST be able to get them shipped interstate, and manufacturers MUST be able to ship them to New Jersey for subsequent sale.

    THAT”s the intent of the so-called “commerce clause”.

    oldvet
    Guest
    oldvet

    Pic looks like a bloody nose, fat lip, black eye fixing to happen !

    guillermo maguire
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    guillermo maguire

    Nope. Lots of videos showing the opposite. Use minishells with opsol mini clip and quite fun to shoot

    Joe C
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    Joe C

    I’d have to argue your conclusion, since it clearly states “except shotgun ammunition” in the .60 caliber definition. As an aside, if the law really reads as you have it, 60 caliber (without the decimal) that would exempt anything with a bore less than 5 feet across.

    Tomil
    Guest
    Tomil

    I think Mr Nappen skipped this part: “or shotgun ammunition generally recognized as suitable for sporting purposes; ”

    I disagree with his verdict and find this in not a DD under NJ LAW

    hippogiant
    Guest
    hippogiant

    I still concur with Mr. Nappen.
    Note N.J.S. 2C:39-1c(4) exempts only “shotgun” or “shotgun ammunition”, not this “thingy”.