Man Sentenced to Prison After Shooting an Individual With Sawed-Off Shotgun

Editors Note: The following press release is directly from ATF. Regular readers of AmmoLand News know our stance on the unaccountable Federal Agency: No comment. We invite our readers to leave their hard-hitting insights in the comments below.

Officer Arresting Young Man Handcuff Red Flag iStock-464411574

GREAT FALLS –-( A Great Falls man who admitted to a firearm crime after shooting another man in the hand with a sawed-off shotgun was sentenced on June 16 to three years and four months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.

Hunter Dylan Bell, 28, pleaded guilty in March to possession of an unregistered firearm.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

In court documents, the government alleged that in August 2020, Bell shot a man in the hand with a sawed-off shotgun over a dispute about a car just a few dozen yards from an elementary school in Great Falls.

In a statement later to law enforcement, Bell said that on the day of the shooting, he had gone to retrieve a vehicle from the victim that the victim had stolen. Bell admitted to acquiring the shotgun and bringing it with him to the altercation but claimed to have shot the victim in self-defense.

Bell acknowledged that the gun was placed in a nearby trash can after the shooting and that he had fled to Lewistown. Law enforcement retrieved the firearm from the trash can and determined it was a Mossberg Haven Model 495T, 12-gauge shotgun that had a barrel length of approximately 12.875 inches and an overlength of 24.50 inches. The government further alleged that at the time Bell possessed the sawed-off shotgun, he was prohibited from possessing firearms because he had a prior felony conviction.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey K. Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Great Falls Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

Denver Field Division

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )

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“NSSF partners with ATF.”
~Industry-ATF Partnership Cuts Gun Thefts
-By Larry Keane, Collaborator

“ATF praised the partnership. ‘Our collaboration makes a difference. Yet another way ATF works diligently to reduce violent crime in our communities [except when we work to increase it, wink-wink].’

Keane agreed: ‘Proactive partnerships with ATF make our communities safer. It’s what effective gun safety looks like.’

ATF GruppenFuhrer Nesmith chimed in: ‘A stolen gun is a very serious thing. You don’t want a stolen firearm to end up in the hands of a dangerous person [unless we put it there, wink-wink].’

Last edited 14 days ago by Russn8r



I guess my question is this. Isn’t shooting someone against the law if it isn’t in self defense? Shouldn’t that be the reason he gets a prison sentence? What difference should it make what the barrel length is? This is such BS. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED PEOPLE!

Wild Bill

Technically, the legal theory, that the state statutes, that I have read, follow, are using deadly force against another is always against the law, except in strictly limited circumstances it is justified. But I have not read all of the states’ statutes.


Nfa, gca 68, all gun laws…..UNCONSTITUTIONAL and so are the nazis at atf

f’ em, F’ their extended families!



The only crime this individual did was to ruin a vintage shotgun.


depending on condition could have been salvage operation…how many barn guns have you seen with the barrel all rusted a t the end because they have been stored wrong ,or no stock?


Felon caught violating the NFA. Should have let law enforcement do their jobs instead of exposing one’s self to adventure and prison. Would have been a lesser sentence with a simple Non-sawed-off shotty. Although that was a pretty lax sentence for violating the NFA. I wonder if a non-felon would have gotten any less time.


More likely, they’d get MORE time. Seems like the system goes softer on known thugs.


reason is there was a supreme court decision in 1967 -68 against gca a felon does not have to register his gun as registration violates the 5th amendment self incrimination so they can not be charged with that , the scotus loss was reason for 1968 law


haynes vs us made it so a prohibited person could not be charged with having an unregistered gun, this scotus ruling made it so anyone in ny ,nj or any other no issue state cant charge a criminal with having an unregistered gun , but someone who might possibly have one goes to jail for 10 years , just goes to show who politicians are truly protecting ….criminal goes into a small shop with a gun, shopkeeper pulls gun….who goes to tail and who is home by next night…..yep you guessed it even with video shopkeeper goes to jail huge… Read more »

Wild Bill

Yes, U.S. v Haynes, 390 US 85, 326.


Felons are in a cage. Ex felons are free. If he was such a danger to society, why isn’t he still in a cage? SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED extends to anyone and everyone outside of a cage for SELF DEFENSE. PERIOD.


We have rules for felons in possession and they were enforced like they should be. If the car was stolen, he should have called the cops, proven to them that it was stolen, the cops would have impounded the evidence and arrested the thief, well at least that is how it used to be but this is Montana so it shouldn’t be so woke that it wouldn’t follow basic law.

AZ Lefty

It is still like that everywhere


What do you know about anything outside of Arizona clown ? We have criminals here in Montana that think they are above the law or they can take it onto thier own hands . This guy will pay for his indiscretions with a little time in the Montana system prison . That is where criminals belong , in prison ! Not released on O R like they do in blue states. Montana is a red state there lefty where laws are enforced .


I’ll feel SO safe if I travel through Montana knowing that someone will only be able to rob or kill me with a shotgun that has a longer barrel. Seems that the shorter shotguns are more dangerous and might go out and shoot me just because…more “gun” violence.


“WE” have rules for felons in possession? No WE don’t. I say SELF DEFENSE by whatever means necessary is a natural born right. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, doesn’t say, unless you’re a “felon” which he isn’t. He is an EX felon if he was out of the cage. How stupid can people be. “RULES” are not laws. NO VICTIM, NO CRIME. NO CRIME. NOT GUILTY. The mitigating circumstance should be the reason to look at this. Was it in self defense or not? If NOT that should be the reason to put him back in a cage. Not because of… Read more »


This (if he is no longer incarcerated) stuff is BS because we can’t lock everyone up forever, but most deserve a second chance and if we used the death penalty more there would be less felons and less second chances. Someone that is a murder and gets out after 25 years doesn’t deserve the same freedoms as someone that follows the law. This he paid his price stuff is BS. How many pay the price and then go out and murder again days after release. How stupid can people be to think that a murder deserves a gun because supposedly… Read more »


If he didn’t pay his price, if he still can’t be trusted with weapons, then he should be in prison. That’s what’s BS. You want a life-sentence of punishment & inability to defend himself & his family, an 8A violation. “A free man shall not be debarred the use of arms.” -Jefferson This quasi-life-sentence disability crap is increasingly used against good folks for “felonies” that were legal 120yrs ago. Including “murder” of cops who try to confiscate constitutional guns. Lots of “conservatives” think it’s cute that prisoners are tortured, raped, beaten & murdered in prison. They see it as extra-legal… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Russn8r

If he didn’t pay his price, if he still can’t be trusted with weapons, then he should be in prison. That’s what’s BS. Yes you are right but the Panzy ass left who believes in killing unborn babies thinks it’s wrong to kill a criminal and so here we are today. If someone gets life in prison, they should be exterminated with proper DNA and witness evidence. No more letting them live and lets use rope, its cheaper and can be used more than once. The quasi sentence is a product of the left. If it wasn’t bad enough to keep them locked up… Read more »


I hear you & sympathize. But life-time disability is used against good citizens, against us, by commies in power. If we had the power to stop that we’d have the power to jail mens rea violent criminals till they’re harmless & mens rea killers for life. I no longer back the death penalty. Too many cops lying with “qualified” immunity like Nancy Taylor-Harris and prosecutors like Kamala, Philobosian & Martha Coakley. They can’t be trusted not to phony up or hide DNA & other evidence. “Better 10 guilty escape than 1 innocent suffer.” ~W Blackstone “Better 100 guilty escape than… Read more »

Kenny Waters.png

What I have learned about self-defense using firearms with our oppressive government is that it better be legal to own, registered to you and that you better be dead right. These agencies could care less about the safety of the victims as evidenced by their spinning the blame to the victims. The use of a gun in defense appears to diminish the perpetrators part simply because a weapon was used to stop them.

AZ Lefty

Or you can not use a illegal weapon, not ditch it in a trash can and flee across state lines. But instead you call the authorities when safe to do so. You know what the law abiding citizens do


Like Hunter Biden?


All of the animals on the farm are equal. It’s just that some are more equal than others.


Yea, you can only use a legal weapon, ditch it in a trash can and flee across state lines. That will make it all the better. I think a lot of folks need brain transplant. Are you REALLY a law abiding citizen? Or are you guilty of three felonies a day like the rest of society? There is a book by that name (Three Felonies a Day) at Amazon which proves that YOU are not law abiding.

Wild Bill

That infringes on the Constitutional Right to travel, and there is no lawful requirement to notify the police of any incidents that you are involved in.
“Hello 911,I was speeding back there. I did not mean to speed, but let me tell you the circumstances.”


He did not get in trouble for hurting the guy, but he did get in trouble over what should be his Constitutional right to be armed. That is social engineering being forced on our society to stigmatize guns, when the government goes after the thug for the Constitutional protected weapon, but not for the violent crime. Low impulse control and low iq bad guys like in the article have the right to be armed, and get shot by one of us armed Citizens when they attempt to harm another. It is evil to say that a Citizen not in jail… Read more »

AZ Lefty

Actually he got in trouble for using ai illegal weapon, trying to dispose of it and fleeing across state lines in a attempt not be linked to the act; you know all well established violations of the law, why are you trying to justify felons and their actions?


The is no such thing as a “illegal weapon”. It’s nothing more than another made up term for you leftists to use in your support of infringement.


I’M THE WEAPON! What tool I choose makes no difference. I can kill someone with my hands or feet, which would be the tools I chose to use in any given situation. The question should revolve around was it self defense OR NOT?

Wild Bill

Is a rock an illegal weapon? Just checking because if it isn’t then why waste legislative time on other weapons?


A rock? Only if it’s sawed off !


Actually, part of the punishment for committing a felony is the loss of your Constitutional right to possess a firearm, let alone something that should be classified as an NFA item. Like it or not, these are the cards that we are dealt currently.

He committed the crime, I have no mercy for him. Quite frankly I’m surprised he didn’t get the 10 years that he could get and the $100,000 fine for violating the NFA rules. He was not in a gray area, as far as the rules are concerned.

Just my $.02


You’re $.02 cents sucks. Shows that you’re nothing but a typical boot licking slave. You don’t have a “constitutional” right to possess a firearm. If there was no “constitution” you would still have the right as it exists in nature. It’s called the RIGHT to self defense. It doesn’t determine HOW you defend yourself and the 2nd amendment doesn’t say UNLESS anywhere. Read the 8th amendment. You don’t think that 10 years for a shorter than “allowed” shotgun isn’t cruel and unusual punishment? You don’t think $100,000 fine is excessive for not paying for a $200 “tax” stamp? You have… Read more »

Wild Bill

That is another excellent constitutional challenge!


Wow, your last couple of sentences which should really have been part of a new paragraph reminds me of democrats accusing republicans of what the left is and does and who they are.

Why are you being so mean today. You should be able to get your point across without attacking the person you are responding to.

Wild Bill

No, it … it is not. Loss of the Right to bear arms comes from a statute that is lower than the Constitution and conflicts with the Constitution; and is a punishment not imposed by the judge in the person’s specific case.
That is a “No go.” Two, in fact.




We need to make some rule changes in everything we have today. Our government is no longer by and for the people, but the government is a political tool used to suppress the right and promote the lefts power and protect them from penalty all to change Merica and make it into the NWO which is a corrupt tyrannical government. I also think that the maximum fines and time in jail are too severe especially when criminals are getting 5 years for murder. How long a barrel is shouldn’t make a difference and the fact that you have to pay… Read more »

Wild Bill

The “ism” of our professional politicians is “MEism”!


OH yes that that applies to everything they do and are.