Discussion BATF Targets Cannon Owner

ucvrelics

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Now they have gone and got me PO'd. :banghead: :help: This is ridiculous. I guess muskets are next.


Kip Hill, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Tue, July 6, 2021, 9:02 PM·2 min read


Jul. 6—A 63-year-old Garfield man will spend two years in federal prison after constructing a working red, white and blue cannon in his garage.
Kent W. Kimberling has been in custody of the Spokane County Jail since January 2020. In August 2019, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms discovered the unregistered destructive device in the home he shares with his mother.
Kimberling pleaded guilty in March to a single felony criminal count of possession of an unregistered destructive device. He had been facing a maximum 10-year prison sentence, and his sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen was held in a closed courtroom Tuesday morning at the request of his defense attorney.

Investigators went to Kimberling's home to conduct a welfare check. They found the cannon, which was later tested by federal agents and found to be operational. It fired a soda can, "leaving a large hole in the center of (a) target," according to court records.
The bore of the cannon was measured to be 1 1/4 inches, greater than the 1/2 inch bore permissible under federal law. Two other cannons were discovered, smaller than are prohibited by federal law.
In an interview with agents, Kimberling said he believed construction of the device was legal. Investigators also said Kimberling told them "numerous times that he believed the police and police chief were out to get him and that the Town of Garfield is corrupt."
Kimberling's defense argued that the 63-year-old is in poor health and cannot receive treatment while incarcerated at the jail. He also argued that he is the sole caretaker for his widowed mother in Garfield.
Kimberling also disputed that there was any threat made to public officials.
The sentence includes a three-year period of supervised release after incarceration. Kimberling's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the months he's spent in county jail would count toward his time in federal custody.
Kimberling was listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

https://news.yahoo.com/garfield-man...ySBM8JUIHoKnqIiyLUvabGz-PLoTcWJBffUWZX6_yAUCF
 
There's got to be something missing from this story. There is no federal prohibition against a muzzle loading black powder cannon, homemade or not, over a bore diameter of .500 or not.



Are muzzleloading cannons considered destructive devices?


Generally, no. Muzzleloading cannons manufactured in or before 1898 (and replicas thereof) that are not capable of firing fixed ammunition are considered antiques and not subject to the provisions of either the Gun Control Act (GCA) or National Firearms Act (NFA).
[26 U.S.C. 5845; 27 CFR 479.11]

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/are-muzzleloading-cannons-considered-destructive-devices
 

drezac

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describing it as a "cannon" really does not tell us much. I wonder what type of ignition system it had? There must have been something about it that is different than the civil war style cannons we use at reenactments. I would sure like to see more details about what made it illegal other than just the bore measurement. Makes me wonder if it was breech loading and used a shotgun shell or something similar to fire it.
 
The Grand Jury charges:
On or about August 6, 2019, in the Eastern District of Washington, the Defendant, KENT KIMBERLING, did knowingly possess a firearm, to wit:
- a red, white, and blue, cannon destructive device having a bore diameter in excess of one-half inch; and
- an improvised explosive projectile further described as a small metal compressed carbon dioxide gas cartridge and soda can; not registered to the Defendant in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, in violation of26 U.S.C. §§ 5841, 5861(), 5871.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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I seen this a couple days ago and got ticked, then worried until I read more into it. Apparently it was a breechloading gas pressure cannon, not a muzzlestuffer like pictured and what we all love around here..

Reminds me of old stories from nearby now closed steel mill. The redneck nightshift got creative and built a similar devise to take out a guard shack occupied by a fellow I'm told was a jerk. It did not end well for either side! They left the nail and slag filled shack laying around for years, enabling me to see it when I worked there.
 

drezac

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And as Paul Harvey said. "Now we know the rest of the story" Makes me feel a little better as I'm to pretty to go to jail. :nah disagree: From time to time I do fire a small Mich Ultra can full of concrete.

you can actually fire that? we tried that once at a live shoot. The cannon owner was not able to hit anything with it ( pop can with concrete). We all watched the next shot, and on firing, there was smoke and a big ball of grey dust as the pop can with concrete disintegrated into a big concrete dust ball as it left the bore.
 

ucvrelics

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you can actually fire that? we tried that once at a live shoot. The cannon owner was not able to hit anything with it ( pop can with concrete). We all watched the next shot, and on firing, there was smoke and a big ball of grey dust as the pop can with concrete disintegrated into a big concrete dust ball as it left the bore.
Ive never had one do that and I'm not trying to really hit anything it just gives the cannon a larger boom and a big recoil.
 
So other than being a NUT JOB it was the CO2 cartridge that got him.

Yep.
"[H]e also made threats against police officers and had taken steps to carry out the threats.

"[Prosecutor]Tracy at one point, after noting Palouse police officers were among potential victims threatened by Kimberling, told the court Kimberling had the cannon pointed at the front door entrance to the house where he was residing."

https://www.wcgazette.com/story/2019/09/05/news/kimberling-denied-10-day-jail-furlough/30188.html
 

drezac

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I do have some concerns if it was that it was co2 powered that caused the problems. l also have a ham radio license. It's not uncommon for ham operators to build a compressed air cannon to launch lines into a tree in order to pull up an antenna. It also makes me wonder about the potato guns we had fun with when we lived in a rural area ( we would launch our old chicken eggs with one).
 

redbob

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I do have some concerns if it was that it was co2 powered that caused the problems. l also have a ham radio license. It's not uncommon for ham operators to build a compressed air cannon to launch lines into a tree in order to pull up an antenna. It also makes me wonder about the potato guns we had fun with when we lived in a rural area ( we would launch our old chicken eggs with one).
I think the line that pays is the one that states that he made threats against police officers and had taken steps to carry out those threats.
 

John Winn

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I think the line that pays is the one that states that he made threats against police officers and had taken steps to carry out those threats.
Agree. Now, why ATF was involved is still a question to me. I'm not up on regulations regarding black powder cannons but it's common for them to be demonstrated in, say, national parks so they can't be federally illegal just due to bore size. The only state where a black powder gun is considered a firearm is New Jersey. So, there has to be something about this guy's cannon that makes it a different beast (regardless of if it was used to threaten or assault officers which is another thing from it being illegal to possess at the federal level). It does seem there's something about the projectile. It's a complicated world.
 
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WScott

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Where does this place those compressed air "pumpkin" cannons they shoot in the fall. There have been several TV specials where contestants use a trebuchet or cannon to see who tosses the pumpkin the furthest, and they never talked about any legal issues with making the cannons. Personally I liked the trebuchets better.
 

ucvrelics

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I think the line that pays is the one that states that he made threats against police officers and had taken steps to carry out those threats.
Hence, The NUT CASE.
 

Attention to section (f) Destructive Device that I've emboldened.

26 U.S. Code § 5845. Definitions​


For the purpose of this chapter—

(a)Firearm
The term “firearm” means (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and (8) a destructive device. The term “firearm” shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector’s item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

(b)Machinegun
The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

(c)Rifle
The term “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.

(d)Shotgun
The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.

(e)Any other weapon
The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

(f)Destructive device
The term “destructive device” means (1) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (A) bomb, (B) grenade, (C) rocket having a propellent charge of more than four ounces, (D) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (E) mine, or (F) similar device; (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term “destructive device” shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; 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; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 7684(2), 7685, or 7686 of title 10, United States Code; or any other device which the Secretary finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting purposes.

(g)Antique firearm
The term “antique firearm” means any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

(h)Unserviceable firearm
The term “unserviceable firearm” means a firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.

(i)Make
The term “make”, and the various derivatives of such word, shall include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in such business under this chapter), putting together, altering, any combination of these, or otherwise producing a firearm.

(j)Transfer
The term “transfer” and the various derivatives of such word, shall include selling, assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of.

(k)Dealer
The term “dealer” means any person, not a manufacturer or importer, engaged in the business of selling, renting, leasing, or loaning firearms and shall include pawnbrokers who accept firearms as collateral for loans.

(l)Importer
The term “importer” means any person who is engaged in the business of importing or bringing firearms into the United States.

(m)Manufacturer
The term “manufacturer” means any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms.

(Added Pub. L. 90–618, title II, § 201, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1230; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, § 1906(b)(13)(A), (J), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834, 1835; Pub. L. 99–308, § 109, May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 460; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title VIII, § 809(h)(3), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1842.)

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
 

rob63

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Agree. Now, why ATF was involved is still a question to me. I'm not up on regulations regarding black powder cannons but it's common for them to be demonstrated in, say, national parks so they can't be federally illegal just due to bore size. The only state where a black powder gun is considered a firearm is New Jersey. So, there has to be something about this guy's cannon that makes it a different beast (regardless of if it was used to threaten or assault officers which is another thing from it being illegal to possess at the federal level). It does seem there's something about the projectile. It's a complicated world.
Just a hunch, but I would guess the BATF was involved because they didn't really have much else to charge him with other than breaking a firearm law. In other words, the police wanted him off the streets for their own safety, but they aren't allowed to arrest you for that so they got him on something else.
 
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