Shotguns can use slugs or small pellets as ammunition. Shotguns can be manually loaded, semi-automatic or automatic. The guns are fired while resting on the shoulder of the shooter.
Shot guns are often used for recreational purposes, such as hunting and clay shooting.
Shotguns are dangerous weapons which can inflict injury and death when the proper safety precautions are not taken. Shotgun accidents which often occur during hunting season,are usually the result of inattention or a lack of safety precautions. Shotgun licenses, when used in concurrence with safety classes, often reduce the frequency of shotgun accidents.
Automatic shotguns require that the shooter pull the trigger and hold it down, for as long as they wish the weapon to continue firing. Semiautomatic shotguns require the shooter to continue to pull the trigger. Both types of weapons are self loading and will continue to fire as long as there is ammunition.
Sawed off shotgun
Sawed off shotguns are those which have a barrel length of less than eighteen inches. The weapons are powerful and propel ammunition faster than those that have a longer barrel. However, the weapons can be fairly inaccurate. It is illegal to posses sawed off shotguns in the United States, unless the owner has obtained a special permit. However, some states may completely disallow ownership of sawed off shotguns.
Shotgun sales fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, as well as the jurisdiction where the sale is taking place. Although the federal government may allow citizens to posses shotguns, some states may forbid the ownership of certain types of weapons.