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Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your possession of a short-barreled shotgun case

The criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. defend possession of a short-barreled shotgun cases.  We certainly defend gun crimes throughout the state.  And we’ve defended hundreds of individuals facing serious criminal charges just like yours.

If you’re caught in possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle in Wisconsin you face a Class H felony.  Our Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys, Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin Van Severen have extensive experience working on firearm cases.  Contact our law firm at (414) 270-0202 to schedule a free initial consultation.


What is possession of a short-barreled shotgun/rifle?

Section 941.28 of the Wisconsin Statutes codifies this law.  Section 941.28(2) makes clear that:

No person may sell or offer to sell, transport, purchase, possess or go armed with a short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle.

There are a few definitions important to defending short-barreled shotgun or rifle cases.

A “short-barreled rifle” is defined in section 941.28(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes as: ” … a rifle having one or more barrels having a length of less than 16 inches measured from closed breech or bolt face to muzzle or a rifle having an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

A “short-barreled shotgun” is defined in section 941.28(1)(c) of the Wisconsin Statutes as: ” … a shotgun having one or more barrels having a length of less than 18 inches measured from closed breech or bolt face to muzzle or a shotgun having an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

Law enforcement officers, military personnel, or similar individuals who have complied with federal licensing requirements may be able to possess the otherwise-prohibited weapons.  Similarly, individuals producing weapons for said-licensed individuals are immune to prosecution.


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How do we win my possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle case?

We will certainly talk about the details of your case at your initial consultation.  At that meeting, you and criminal defense lawyer Meyer or Van Severen can sit down and spend as much time as necessary to figure out your case.  Once we’ve discussed your entire case we can begin formulating the strategy.  Once we’ve discussed all issues we can figure out how to achieve positive results in your case.


A man posesses a short-barreled shotgun
Possession of a short-barreled shotgun in Wisconsin is a serious felony charge.

What are the elements of this crime?

All criminal offenses have certain elements which need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.  Certainly this offense is no exception.  Wisconsin Jury Instruction Criminal 1342 provides the elements of possession of a short-barreled shotgun:

  1. The defendant possessed a rifle or shotgun; and
  2. The rifle or shotgun was short-barreled.

“Possess” means the defendant knowingly had actual physical control of the shotgun or rifle.


What if the gun doesn’t work?

The Court of Appeals significantly decided this issue in State v. Johnson, 171 Wis.2d 175, 491 N.W.2d 110 (Ct. App. 1992).  They held that section 941.28 applies even after the removal of a shotgun’s firing pin.  The court subsequently agreed with the trial court: the statute does not require ‘that the shotgun be capable of firing a the time” of possession.


What is a rifle? What is a shotgun?

Firstly, section 941.28(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines rifle.  A rifle is a firearm.  The user fires a rifle from his shoulder or hip.  A rifle uses energy of a propellant in a metallic cartridge to specifically fire through a rifled barrel a single projective for each pull of the trigger.

Secondly, section 941.28(1)(d) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines shotgun.  A shotgun is a weapon.  The user fires a shotgun from his shoulder or hip.  A rifle uses the energy of a propellent in a fixed shotgun shell to fire specifically through a smooth bore a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.


Criminal law firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. defends possession of a short-barreled shotgun cases

Matt Meyer and Ben Van Severen are Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys who surely defend firearms cases.  If you’re been charged as an individual in possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and are looking for an aggressive defense attorney, certainly Meyer Van Severen, S.C. should be your first call.  We’re certainly available 24/7 for calls.  Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202.  Let’s start defending your criminal case today.