Crime

Lucedale man faces trial over sawed-off shotgun

BILOXI POLICE DEPARTMENT/2013 
 
 A man with a sawed-off shotgun is shown robbing The First bank on Pass and Big Lake roads in Biloxi in October 2013. Federal law prohibits private citizens from having a sawed-off shotgun unless the owner passes a background check and the weapon is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
BILOXI POLICE DEPARTMENT/2013 A man with a sawed-off shotgun is shown robbing The First bank on Pass and Big Lake roads in Biloxi in October 2013. Federal law prohibits private citizens from having a sawed-off shotgun unless the owner passes a background check and the weapon is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

GULFPORT -- A Lucedale man has pleaded not guilty on a federal charge he was in possession of an illegal sawed-off shotgun.

James Denson Tanner, 45, is accused of having the modified weapon Oct. 1, 2014, in George County.

A federal grand jury indicted him in April on a charge of possession of an unregistered firearm. Maximum penalties are 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tanner made his first court appearance Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court. Magistrate Judge John Gargiulo set a $25,000 bond and ordered him to remove any other firearms from his home.

His trial is set on a court calendar that starts Jan. 4.

Sawed-off shotguns are easy to conceal and are considered deadly close-range weapons.

Tanner had a Smith & Wesson Eastfield, Model 916, 12-gauge shotgun modified to have a barrel shorter than 18 inches, the indictment said.

Under the National Firearms Act, it's illegal for a private citizen to have a shotgun with a barrel shorter than 18 inches unless the weapon is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Registration includes a criminal background check and a $200 permit.

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