Three Common Federal Firearm Laws

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerFederal firearm laws are complicated and carry harsh penalties. These laws are not only complex, but they also provide federal prosecutors with an immense arsenal of weapons when prosecuting those accused. This has resulted in a huge increase in prosecutions under the federal laws on firearms. Due to the fact that these prosecutions have become more prevalent, it is essential that everyone understands the law, so they do not find themselves under federal investigation. Below are three of the most common charges prosecutors pursue.

Selling Guns Illegally

There are multiple federal firearm laws pertaining to the sale of firearms, including licensing requirements and restrictions on transporting certain weapons across state lines. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(a), it is against the law to sell guns across state lines without a valid license. Selling firearms without any type of license carries a five-year sentence in federal prison for those convicted.

It is not only unlicensed dealers that can find themselves facing charges for selling firearms, though. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 922 (b), it is illegal to:

  • Sell firearms to individuals that do not meet the minimum age requirements for those weapons.
  • Sell firearms to a person that does not live in the same state as the firearms dealer.
  • Sell firearms to anyone prohibited from owning a firearm under state or federal law.

When a dealer illegally sells firearms, they can face between five to ten years in federal prison.

Making False Statements when Purchasing a Firearm

Just as gun dealers must be careful, so too must gun buyers. There is a lot of paperwork required when purchasing a firearm. Those purchasing the firearm must also answer all questions honestly and not misrepresent themselves to the dealer or to the government. When a person makes dishonest or misleading statements, they can face up to ten years in federal prison.

Straw purchasers also fall into this category. These buyers are not purchasing weapons for themselves, instead, they are buying firearms for a person that is not legally allowed to own a gun. Straw purchases carry sentences of up to ten years in federal prison.

Using or Carrying Firearms While Committing a Crime

Federal law is particularly harsh on individuals that carry or use guns while committing other crimes. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 924 (c), it is illegal to carry or use a firearm while committing a crime of violence or participating in drug trafficking. The sentences for this crime range from between five years to 30 years in federal prison, depending on how the firearm was used during the crime. Those charged with this crime usually face additional charges for the original crime being committed.

Facing Firearm Charges? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

While the three firearm charges above are some of the most common, there are many other federal prosecutors aggressively pursue. If you have been charged with a firearms offense, you need a skilled Chicago federal criminal defense attorney that is just as aggressive as the prosecution. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our attorney has the experience necessary to know how to defend against these charges and give you the best chance of success in court. Call us today at 312-270-0999 for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help.

Sources:

https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Quick_Facts_Section_924c_Offenders.pdf

https://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/sites/ca3/files/2017%20Chap%206%20FirearmOffenses%20revisions%20final.pdf

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