Hire a Firearms Lawyer for Your Defense
Federal firearms laws are some of the most complicated and confusing in the United States. It is imperative to know what federal law prohibits, as well as how these laws can impact your life. Firearms are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Criminal Code.
Anyone who violates federal gun laws must understand what penalties they may face in addition to any possible state or local charges. If you have been charged with a violation under this section, contact an experienced firearms lawyer at the Zoukis Consulting Group.
Federal Weapon Offenses
One of the most common violations is unlawful receipt, possession, or transportation of firearms or ammunition. Federal firearm laws also prohibit the sale and transfer of weapons and certain firearm accessories such as silencers at gun shows when not licensed by the ATF.
In addition, it is an offense to use a firearm during and concerning certain crimes such as robberies, drug trafficking, and felonious assault. These offenses are punishable by heavy fines and federal prison time.
The defendant may be charged under federal conspiracy laws when a federal firearms offense is committed with another crime, such as drug trafficking or money laundering. These offenses carry even harsher penalties and can result in an expensive prison sentence.
An experienced gun crimes attorney at the Zoukis Consulting Group will help you if you have been charged with a violation under this section or when accused of using a firearm. The federal criminal justice system has strict rules for building cases against defendants.
Therefore, if evidence was gathered unlawfully or in error, it’s possible to have the case dismissed. In addition, federal sentencing guidelines mandate specific penalties for each crime.
The Role of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
The ATF is included in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). As an agency under DOJ, its primary goal is to reduce violent crimes and protect communities across America by enforcing federal firearm laws. The ATF regulates interstate commerce involving firearms, explosives, arson devices, and criminal enterprises that include narcotics trafficking. They also control firearms dealers and explosives manufacturing, storage, distribution.
What Are Federal Gun Laws?
Federal firearms laws are federal statutes that govern the sale, possession, and use of guns. The primary law is Title 18 of the United States Code (USC), Part I, Chapter 44 – Firearms. It sets out who may not have a gun, who may sell or receive one, the types of weapons covered by the law, and what papers are needed when the weapon crosses state lines.
There are several guidelines on the purchase and use of firearms:
(i) A background check is required for every purchase of a gun.
(ii) You must be 21 years old to buy guns and ammunition, but exceptions are made under certain circumstances.
(iii) Individuals convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year cannot lawfully possess guns or ammunition even if the sentence is only probation.
(iv) The law prohibits several categories of people from purchasing guns and ammunition, including felons, fugitives from justice, unlawful drug users and addicts, and persons with mental illness or disability.
Others include military personnel dishonorably discharged from their duties, aliens without permanent residence status in the U.S., and those who have renounced their citizenship.
Further, it prohibits illegal aliens living within 100 miles of a U.S. border and anyone under a court order to forfeit firearms or ammunition due to domestic abuse.
(v) No one is allowed to sell firearms without an FFL license.
(vi) Any person who willfully violates federal gun laws can be fined up to $250,000 in addition to civil penalties of up to twice the amount of the underlying transaction.
(vii)The federal gun law also requires firearm sellers to keep records for at least 20 years, including the name and address of anyone who purchases a gun.
Use of Firearm, Armor-Piercing Ammunition, or Explosives During Certain Crimes
Federal law prohibits using firearms or ammunition during certain crimes. The federal firearms statute defines armor piercing as any handgun bullet that can be fired from a pistol and has an armor-piercing tip, meaning a projectile core that may be used in a manufactured design to pierce body armor, including bulletproof vests.
The federal firearms statute further defines the term explosive as any incendiary device, including a bomb, grenade, and rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces.
Armor-piercing ammunition is defined as a projectile or projectile core used in a manufactured design to pierce armor plates. However, it does not include a shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting, target shooting, or sporting purposes.
Call a Federal Firearms Lawyer Today
Firearm laws and regulations can be complex and detailed, especially federal gun laws regulating their purchase. If you have been charged with a federal firearms offense, it is essential to consult with an experienced gun crimes attorney to help guide and protect your rights throughout the legal process.
A qualified firearms lawyer from the Zoukis Consulting Group can help reduce your sentence by arguing mitigating factors such as previous good conduct and lack of a criminal record.
Get in touch now for an initial consultation.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on May 11, 2023 at 6:04 pm