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Thread: Shotguns and the Geneva Convention

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Shotguns and the Geneva Convention

    I was under the impression that shotguns were banned for use in combat by the Geneva Convention, but an Iraq vet in one of my courses said otherwise. So what's the scoop, are they banned or not? What other types of guns are banned by the GC?

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    I was under the impression that all guns were legal so long as the bullets did not expand, the old "no dum-dum bullets" rule, to use an antiquated term. The shotgun does not fire expanding projectiles, just a bunch of them at once.

    I know the shotgun was used in Vietnam for short-ranged brush-fighting, and guards over POWs certainly carried them, so it has been around for a while.

    My thoughts - if flame-throwers are legal, shotguns are no worse! Wouldn't want to get hit by either.

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    I don't know, wouldn't a short range shotgun blast pretty much be lights out? A flamethrower would leave you alive for a minute or so. Not that I'd want to test it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I was under the impression that shotguns were banned for use in combat by the Geneva Convention, but an Iraq vet in one of my courses said otherwise. So what's the scoop, are they banned or not? What other types of guns are banned by the GC?
    Shotguns are fine. I'm not sure if there is specific shotgun ammo that is banned, but you'd have to be purchasing outside the normal procurement system to potentially get illegal ammo.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Military Professional 3ACR_Scout's Avatar
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    Shotguns are used quite often in Iraq and Afghanistan, but often as more of a breaching tool than as a weapon. Most guys would still prefer to carry a rifle because of the versatility. You often see Soldiers in a breach team carrying shotguns in addition to their primary weapon (e.g. M4).

    I believe both OO buckshot and slugs are available through the Army supply system, as well as non-lethal rounds such as bean bags and rubber bullets.

    Dave

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3ACR_Scout View Post
    Shotguns are used quite often in Iraq and Afghanistan, but often as more of a breaching tool than as a weapon.
    Dave
    The old "Masterkey", eh?
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I was under the impression that shotguns were banned for use in combat by the Geneva Convention, but an Iraq vet in one of my courses said otherwise. So what's the scoop, are they banned or not? What other types of guns are banned by the GC?
    not shotguns but flechettes most likely what is banned
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" B. Franklin

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omon View Post
    not shotguns but flechettes most likely what is banned

    Flechette rounds are fine.

    Most rules concerning small arms deal with using proper ammo. Cannot target people with AP rounds. That type of stuff.

    Shotguns are also great for guarding ammo storage sites. Less chance of a errant round penetrating something that will make a big boom

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    The Geneva Convention does not cover the use of weapons in war, I believe these are covered by the Hague Convention; and if I remember my History the Germans during World War 1 complained to the Hague Commission about the US using Shotguns. It was thrown out. The Germans gave a directive that any enemy soldier caught with a shotgun will be executed, I think the first was a US GI.

    The use of Gases and Biological Weapons is covered under the Geneva Protocol.

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    Contributor ZekeJones's Avatar
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    I think the answer is here..
    http://lawofwar.org/Parks_Combat_Shotguns.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeJones View Post
    I think the answer is here..
    OCTOBER 1997 THE ARMY LAWYER
    I wasn't far off I suppose.

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    Does anyone know if Slug rounds on Shotguns are banned from being used in warfare under the Geneva Convention?

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. New members are asked to tell others a little about themselves in the Introduction section which you can find here; http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showthread.php?t=61571 Also wise to read the rules and the 'Survival Guide'.

    To answer your question: no. No mention of them but not many shotguns are rifled - it kind of ruins the point.

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