Federal Firearm Crimes

With the prevalence of gun violence across our country, federal prosecutors have gone to great lengths to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of wrongful owners. To achieve this goal, federal prosecutors have taken the initiative to use their extensive resources to prosecute gun crimes vigorously. The most prominent gun crimes are Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922 and 924, described below. If you or someone you know faces a gun crime charge, hiring experienced defense counsel is a must. Not only can an attorney ensure that one's rights are protected but begin crafting a defense. The earlier an attorney can start working on the case, the stronger your defense.

Federal Gun Crimes

As mentioned, the two most common federal gun charges are found §§ 18 U.S.C. 922 and 924. These criminal statutes encompass all aspects of firearms, from improper purchasing and selling to unlawful possession.

18 U.S.C § 922(a) –– Possession and Transporting of a Firearm

This statute makes it a crime for any person without a license to import, manufacture, or deal in firearms. Additionally, it makes it a crime for someone to transport or receive a gun across state lines without a license. Such an offense carries with it a prison sentence of up to five years. Also, federal law prohibits anyone from making false statements when purchasing a gun from a licensed seller. If found guilty, one can face up to ten years in federal prison.

18 U.S.C. § 922(d) –– Illegal Selling or Giving of a Firearm

18 U.S.C. § 922(d) makes it illegal for a person to sell or give a firearm or ammunition to any person, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe that such person:

  • is a convicted felon;
  • is a fugitive from justice;
  • is a user or addict of controlled substanced;
  • has been committed to a mental institution;
  • is an illegal alien
  • received a dishonorable discharge from the United States Armed Services
  • has renounced U.S. Citizenship
  • has a restraining order; and/or
  • has been convicted of any domestic violence crime.

Similarly, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) makes it illegal for one in the following categories below to possess, in or affecting intrastate or foreign commerce, any firearm or ammunition:

  • convicted felon;
  • fugitive from justice;
  • unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance;
  • committed to a mental institution;
  • an illegal alien;
  • dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces;
  • renounced U.S. citizenship;
  • has a restraining order; and/or
  • convicted of any domestic violence crime.

A conviction under either of these provisions carries with it a federal prison sentence of up to ten years.

18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1) –– False Representations on Gun Records

Federal law makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly make any false statement or representation regarding any records required to be kept for firearms, such as an application, authorization, or license. One faces up to five years for violating this provision.

18 U.S.C. § 924(c) –– Firearm Possession or Use in Connection with a Violent or Drug Trafficking Crime

Suppose one possesses or uses a gun during a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. In that case, federal criminal law provides a mandatory minimum sentence not to be carried out concurrently with any sentence for the underlying crime. This reality means that one could face a penalty as high as 25 years in federal prison.

Importance of Legal Counsel

Any gun charge is a severe offense warranting experienced legal counsel. With the help of an attorney committed to your defense, you will have someone navigating the legal landscape to preserve your reputation and limit your legal exposure. So, if you or someone you know faces a gun crime, reach out to The Law Offices of Peter Katz today to begin strengthening your position and protecting yourself and your reputation.

Call the Law Offices of Peter Katz at (609) 734-4380 or online.