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FIREARM OFFENSES

FIREARM OFFENSES UNDER FEDERAL LAW

Prosecutors can charge persons with a variety of different firearm crimes. Some of the most common gun illegalities under federal law are:

  • It’s illegal for certain classes of people to possess a firearm. These classes include: convicted felons, certain drug addicts, people with particular mental impairments, people in the country illegally, former service members that received a dishonorable discharge, and anyone that is restrained by a lawful court order.
  • Federal law prohibits a person from importing, producing, or conducting transactions in firearms across state lines. This rule does not apply if the person has a license to import, produce, or deal in firearms.
  • Federal law makes it illegal for a person to sell or otherwise distribute a firearm to another person when the person selling/distributing the gun knows that the buyer does not live in the same state. Again, this rule does not apply if the people involved in the transaction are licensed to deal with guns.
  • It’s illegal to transport certain types of weapons – e.g., bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles, mines, machineguns, and rifles and shotguns with short barrels.
  • Federal laws ban straw purchases. These laws make it illegal for a person buying a gun to use any false written or verbal statements, or, to present false identification intended to deceive a gun dealer about the legality of the transaction or the ultimate owner of the firearm.
  • It’s also illegal for a person to knowingly deliver, transport, or accept any firearm with a serial number that has been changed, removed, or destroyed.
PENALTIES FOR FIREARM CRIMES

The commission of gun crimes results in steep penalties. The specific penalty will depend on the underlying facts of a case. However, those guilty of a firearm offense will typically face a jail term of 5 to 10 years and a hefty fine. Penalties can increase drastically if a gun or weapon was used in connection with certain other crimes, such as drug trafficking or crimes of violence.  Similarly, people with prior convictions for drug trafficking or crimes of violence can face extraordinarily severe penalties.

DEFENSES TO FIREARM CRIMES

Many of the defenses to firearm charges depend on specific terms and definitions used in the applicable laws. As seen above, there are many laws that prohibit certain actions related to firearms. These laws are often drafted with technical rules, terms, and meanings. At times, effective defenses can assert that these technicalities cannot be proven or are not met.  Defenses can also challenge the means in which authorities gathered evidence and the way they collected statements and facts.

Know, though, that these defenses will go unraised without the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in gun crimes. Our attorneys have the skill and talent when it comes to firearm offenses. They have over twenty years of combined experience. They’re also passionate in their representation and take every step to ensure you understand the charges against you and the options available in your case. Please contact them now for help.

We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.

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