Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Short-Barreled Shotgun

Greenbush Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Short-Barreled Shotgun

BANGOR, ME (STL.News) A Greenbush man pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing an unregistered firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark announced.

According to court records, on November 10, 2019, Lawrence Shirland, 52, was involved in an altercation at his home in Greenbush, during which he fired a warning shot from a sawed-off shotgun.  The shot hit a truck windshield. When police arrived, Shirland admitted that he had fired the shotgun and provided it to officers.  He explained that he had modified the shotgun himself.  Specifically, he cut the barrel with a hack saw, and cut and sanded the stock and wrapped it in tape.

Shirland’s shotgun was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). Federal law prohibits the possession of a weapon made from a shotgun, if the modified weapon has a barrel less than 18 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches, unless that weapon is registered to the possessor in the NFRTR.

Shirland faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative.

PSN is a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials, prosecutors, community leaders and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  PSN is coordinated by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the 94 federal judicial districts throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories.  PSN is customized to account for local violent crime problems and resources.  Across all districts, PSN follows four key design elements of successful violent crime reduction initiatives: community engagement, prevention and intervention, focused and strategic enforcement, and accountability.