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Press Release

Greenbush Man Sentenced for Possessing Unregistered Short-Barreled Shotgun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

BANGOR, Maine: A Greenbush man was sentenced today in federal court for possessing an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Lawrence Shirland, 52, to time served and two years of supervised release. Shirland pleaded guilty on September 15, 2021.

According to court records, on November 10, 2019, Shirland 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, 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.

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 initiative.

Project Safe Neighborhoods: Project Safe Neighborhoods (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.



Andrew McCormack
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Updated April 12, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses