Only five percent (about 1,850) of the estimated SPAS-12 shotguns manufactured were imported into the United States. The SPAS-12 is a dual-mode shotgun, adjustable for semi-automatic or pump-action operation. The SPAS-12 was sold to military and police users worldwide, on the civilian market, and has been featured in many movies, TV shows and video games.
The appearance and intended purpose of the SPAS-12 initially led to its "Military" designation as a Combat Shotgun. The SPAS-12 was designed from the ground up as a rugged military shotgun and it was named the (Special Purpose Automatic Shotgun). In 1990 Franchi renamed the shotgun to the (Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun), this allowed continued sales to the U.S. as a limited-magazine-capacity, fixed-stock model until 1994. Following the United States Federal Assault Weapons Ban, imports of SPAS-12 shotguns were stopped into the United States. In September 2004 the ban had expired, but Franchi had ended production in 2000 of the SPAS-12 to focus on the manufacturing of the SPAS-15 model. The SPAS-12's retail price in its final year of 2000 was $1500.00 USD averaged for final sales outside the U.S. to non-restricted countries.