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Yes, a shell casing could be construed as a part or reusable component as defined in federal statutes.
See the following:
18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(4) defines the term “destructive device” for purposes of offenses falling within Title 18 as:
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas– (I) bomb,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and (C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
The term "destructive device" shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10; or any other device which the Attorney General finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.
If the firearm providing the basis for the offense charged is a destructive device as defined in section 921(a)(4), the Government may be required to prove that the defendant intended to use the components as a weapon. In United States v. Urban, 140 F.3d 229, 233 (3d Cir. 1998), the Third Circuit addressed the proof necessary to establish possession of an unregistered destructive device in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861 and held that “intent is a required element when the components are commercial in nature and are not designed or redesigned for use as a weapon.” However, the court
also made it clear that if there is no ambiguity concerning the nature of the device, the government need not prove that the defendant intended to use the components as a weapon. 140 F.3d at 234. For example, in Urban, where it was “undisputed that the parts were clearly designed to create a grenade,” the trial
court was not required to instruct on intent to use the components as a weapon. 140 F.3d at 234.
Also, be aware that, at least one Wyoming case, has imputed gun
ownership by the possession of a deer carcass without finding any firearms in the vicinity.
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