As we wrote in our blog on September 11, 2017, we were of the legal opinion that the Mossberg Shockwave was legal to own and possess in New York. Our opinion in 2017 was based upon the statutory definitions of a firearm, a pistol and a shotgun in New York as well as the opinions of the New Jersey State Police, the Suffolk County Police, and the BATFE. However, up until last week no Court case had ever confirmed the opinion that Mossberg Shockwave is legal to own and possess in New York. The reason that no Court case confirmed that opinion is because it appears that no one had been arrested for possession of a Mossberg Shockwave. However, last week, as has been widely reported, a New York State Supreme Court Justice dismissed four counts in an indictment pertaining to the possession of two Mossberg Shockwaves in a person’s home that were discovered by the police who were executing a search warrant for computer equipment that was allegedly involved in an unrelated Harassment investigation.
Our client was originally indicted for possession of the two Shockwaves in New York City back in December 2018. When our law firm was retained in May 2020, we immediately pointed out that although our client was indicted for criminal possession of two firearms the Shockwaves were not in fact firearms and that the ballistics report from the NYPD ballistics section that was used in the grand jury to prove that the client possessed operable firearms very specifically did not list the Shockwaves as firearms. Rather, the NYPD’s own ballistic expert described the Shockwaves as an “other weapon”, which is not prohibited by New York Law. Despite the fact that the ballistics report described the Shockwaves as other weapons, the District Attorney’s Office submitted the ballistics report to the grand jury and used it to seek an indictment for possession of operable firearms. Even after the District Attorney’s Office was caught in this blatant inconsistency and after we asked them to speak to their own expert who tested the Shockwaves, the District Attorney’s Office continued to demand that we file a written motion to dismiss, which was filed back in June.
In August, The prosecutor finally filed a written answer in which they consented to the dismissal of the Shockwave charges after reading our motion. The client, had faced a mandatory minimum of three and one half years and had that possibility hanging over his head for more than 2 years until the charges were officially dismissed by the Supreme Court Justice, last week.
As we discussed in our original blog, the Mossberg Shockwave is a weapon that fires shotgun shells and has a fourteen inch barrel but cannot be legally considered a shotgun because it is not designed to be fired from the shoulder but rather comes with a “birds head” grip and is designed to be fired from the hip. Additionally, it cannot be legally considered a pistol since it is designed to be fired with two hands.