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Are Penalties Harsher for Stealing Guns From a Gun Store?

Posted by Posted on in Federal Crimes

Illinois federal criminal defense attorneyDuring the social unrest in the summer of 2020, gun stores were a popular target for burglars and looters. In most cases, thieves arrived in groups, gained entrance by smashing through the storefront, and proceeded to ransack the store. Using that method, they could often steal dozens of firearms in a short amount of time.

Most gun stores have alarm systems and surveillance cameras, and they are required by federal law to keep detailed records of their inventory. Before any of that, though, gun stores need a federal firearms license (FFL) in order to operate, which puts them in federal jurisdiction.

Gun thefts from a store with an FFL are primarily investigated by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Suspects identified in such an investigation could face federal charges such as stealing firearms, possessing stolen guns, and even conspiracy.

Federal Gun Crimes

Stealing firearms or possessing a firearm stolen from a store with an FFL could result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Also, the sentence can be multiplied by the number of guns stolen, so two stolen guns could land you 20 years in prison.

On top of stealing or possessing stolen guns, if you are a felon, drug addict, undocumented immigrant, domestic abuser, fugitive, or have been dishonorably discharged from the military, you could face a charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person as well. This charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison or a minimum of 15 years if you have more than three felony convictions.

If you allegedly commit the crime with another person or as part of a group, you could also face a conspiracy charge, which could add an extra five years to your prison sentence.

Contact a Chicago, IL Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Federal gun crimes can be complicated and overwhelming, so if you have been charged with a federal gun crime, you should find an Illinois federal criminal defense attorney fast. A lawyer can help you protect your rights, understand what to expect from the legal process, and build a strong defense to help you reduce your sentence or avoid conviction. Contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel for a free consultation by calling 312-629-0669 today. With his extensive experience, Attorney Garfinkel will help you navigate these complex issues.

 

Source:

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-ut/legacy/2013/06/03/guncard.pdf

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/pr/two-men-charged-conspiring-steal-guns-suburban-chicago-firearms-dealer

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/371

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