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Chicago federal gun charge defense lawyerThe laws that govern firearms on a federal level can be very complex, and a conviction on federal firearms charges can lead to serious criminal penalties. In addition, these laws also give prosecutors a variety of ways to prosecute those suspected of such offenses. As a result, federal prosecution of gun-related crimes has increased in recent decades. With this in mind, it is important to understand the law and how it might apply if you are ever facing federal weapons charges.

Illegal Selling of Firearms

There are a number of federal statutes that pertain to selling firearms, including requirements for licensing and the restriction of moving certain types of firearms from one state to another. Under Title 18, Section 922 (a) of the United States Code, it is illegal to sell firearms across state lines unless the seller has a license to do so. If you are convicted of interstate selling of firearms without a license, you could face five years in federal prison.

Licensed weapons dealers could also face federal criminal charges for selling a firearm to anyone who is not legally allowed to own a firearm under federal or state law. This includes prospective buyers who do not meet the age requirements for buying a gun, as well as those who have had their right to own or possess a firearm restricted by a domestic violence-related order of protection. A licensed dealer who sells weapons illegally could face up to ten years in prison and the loss of his or her license.

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violent Chicago crimesCritics of tighter gun laws in America have frequently referred to the city of Chicago as an example of why gun laws are ineffective. Chicago has some of the strictest gun restrictions in the United States, yet still experiences abnormally high rates of gun related crime when compared to other cities. Gun rights supporters say this proves that tough gun laws do not truly keep guns out of the hands of criminals. A new report, however, shows that a large number of guns used in Chicago crimes crossed into the state from somewhere else.

Chicago has long grappled with high rates of gun violence. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2014, 2,587 people were victims of gun violence. In comparison, New York City police recorded 1,381 victims over the same time period, and New York City has approximately three times the population of Chicago.

Despite Chicago’s tough gun restrictions, city officials say the problem exists because firearms remain widely available. Purchasing guns within the city is difficult, so how, with such tight regulations, are gun related crimes such a problem?

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