Federal Gun Crimes
If you’re facing a federal charge for a gun crime, you need to know what that means. Gun charges become federal if the gun was used in a crime that affected interstate commerce. Such crimes include drug trafficking and robbing a bank. Also, with the 2020 Supreme Court decision in McGirt v Oklahoma, any gun crimes committed by a tribal member on tribal land are tried federally.
While you can be charged for illegal possession of a gun, a lot of gun charges are related to legally owned firearms. Just because you have the right to own a gun doesn’t mean you have the right to do whatever you want with it.
It’s not uncommon for a gun charge to be stacked on top of another charge. If you have a gun while committing another crime, it could lead to more jail time and higher fines. You can be charged just for having it in your possession, even if it’s not on your person. Charges become more severe if you wielded or fired the gun during the crime.
If you’ve been charged with a federal gun crime, you need a federal defense attorney on your side. The sentencing for gun crimes can be harsh, especially if you have a prior conviction. Ted Hasse can help you get the best possible outcome for your case, whether that’s a dismissal of charges or the minimum sentence.
Examples of Gun Crimes
In addition to those listed above, there are a number of gun crimes that can be charged federally. These crimes are listed under 18 U.S.C. § 922. They include:
- stolen guns (possession, transportation, or distribution)
- unauthorized/unlicensed transportation of any destructive device
- transportation, shipment, or possession of a firearm without a serial number
- interstate movement of guns and/or gun parts
- possession or discharging of a gun in/around a school
- lying in an attempt to procure a gun
- possessing or transporting a machine gun
Also, it is illegal for the following groups of people to own a gun. It is also illegal for anyone to knowingly sell a gun to anyone in these groups.
- Convicted felons
- Drug addicts/users
- Illegal or temporary U.S. residents
- People with a domestic assault conviction or a restraining order related to domestic assault
- People dishonorably discharged from the military
- The mentally ill
- Fugitives from justice
Charges for unlawful ownership of a firearm are often treated as perjury charges. Firearms buyers must complete a federal form 4473, swearing the information is correct. False information on that form can result in federal felony charges.
Modifying a firearm such as manufacturing a sawed-off shotgun, or modifying a semi-automatic weapon to fire fully automatic are felonies under the National Firearms Act. Possession of a short-barreled rifle or a suppressor (silencer) without a federal NFA tax stamp can also result in felony charges.
Guns are also used in violent crimes, such as rape, assault, and murder. Use of a gun in another crime can result in enhanced penalties.
This is not an exhaustive list of gun crimes. Any crime involving a gun, whether or not it was used, carries gun charges with strict minimum sentences. If you’re being charged with a federal gun crime, choose a federal defense attorney who has your best interests in mind. Ted Hasse knows how federal court works, and he will fight to defend your rights.
Punishments for Gun Crimes
Certain gun crimes are punished with minimum jail time. If you have a gun while committing a drug trafficking or violent crime, there is a 5-year minimum. This is just for possession. If you brandish the gun during those crimes, there’s a 7-year minimum. The minimum jumps up to 10 years for discharging the gun.
A second conviction on any of those gun crimes has a 25-year minimum jail time.
Fines for gun crimes usually range from $5,000 to $10,000.
Possession of a machine gun or other destructive device carries a 30-year minimum on first conviction. A second conviction leads to a minimum of life in prison.
The following crimes lead to a maximum of five years in prison. They are numbered in the above list as 2, 3, 4, and 5.
The crimes carrying a maximum of ten years in prison are numbers 1, 6, and 7. Additionally, anyone who owns a gun and fits into one of the above groups of people who can’t own a gun faces ten years. Anyone who sells a gun to anyone in one of those groups could spend up to ten years in prison, as well.
Free Consultation with a Federal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a federal gun crime, you need a skilled federal defense attorney to represent you in federal court. Gun charges are significant, especially federally. Along with fines and jail time, a conviction can prevent you from being able to own a gun in the future. You need the legal counsel of Ted Hasse. He will do everything in his power to get you the best possible outcome. For a free consultation, call (918) 932-2744.