What are some Federal Firearms Offenses and Penalties?
Based upon the Federal Firearms Laws the use of firearms in violent crimes or drug-trafficking offenses carries a mandatory prison sentence of up to 20 years, with second offenses carrying life imprisonment terms. These laws are structured to apply to more violent criminal behavior including drug-trafficking, use of deadly weapons, assault with a firearm, discharging a firearm in public, and the illegal use of firearms by fugitives from justice.
Federal Firearms Laws also apply to the methods of shipping firearms from person to person, state to state, and country to country. It is important to note that if you are traveling from one state to another and transporting your firearm with you, you will need to be licensed to carry and possess that firearm in every state that you visit or travel through to be exempt from criminal charges relating to your carrying the firearm from one state to another.
The Second Amendment right to bear arms is not without limitation. A complex web of state and federal laws exist regulating the possession and use of firearms. Some laws restrict the type of firearms that one may possess, while others place limitations on magazine capacity or the number of bullets that a particular firearm may hold at one time. The federal laws apply uniformly throughout the country, while state laws vary from state to state. Examples of firearms law include those banning possession of automatic weapons or in some states, semi-automatic, military style rifles. Other examples include magazine capacity limitations of 10 rounds in semi-automatic handguns or pistols and restrictions on the use and possession of certain types of ammunition. Another example is a form of law related to the modification of firearms such as converting a lawful semi-automatic rifle to automatic or cutting the barrel on a shotgun to a length below the required legal limit.
Some states ban possession of a firearm outside of your home in the absence of a special license often referred to as a license to carry a firearm. Exceptions may apply to transporting unloaded firearms from your home to a designated shooting range or hunting area, or for persons moving from one to state to another who must transport their firearms across state lines from their former state of residence to their new homes. Transporting of firearms, where permissible, is also subject to certain restrictions regarding the precise manner by which firearms are to be transported. Common restrictions require the firearms to be transported in an unloaded condition and stored separately from any ammunition in a locked case or container. Carrying a loaded firearm on one’s person, in the absence of a special license, is often barred by law. This includes both openly carried and concealed loaded weapons.
Discharging a firearm is also illegal. This includes the obvious condition of firing or discharging a firearm in the direction of others for purposes of inflicting death or bodily harm. Similarly speaking, it is also against the law to discharge a firearm inside of a dwelling other than a designed indoor firing range, or in a populated or inhabited area such as a neighborhood, Public Park or area, or commercial establishment. Many laws cover both intentional and accidental discharges under these varying circumstances.
Failure to comply with any gun law, regulation or restriction may lead to criminal consequences under both state and/or federal law. Some states are more liberal or restrictive than others when it comes to regulating ownership, possession, carry, and use of firearms.
If you have been charged with a Firearms Offense, it is important that you consult with and seek legal representation from an attorney who is familiar with firearms and well-versed in the nuances of firearms law in both your state and federal jurisdictions. Call Federal Firearms Offense Attorney Calcagni today at 401-351-5100.