Federal Gun Charges

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Federal Gun Charges

Under federal law, only a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer may lawfully engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce. It is a crime to sell a firearm to a person in another state unless the seller or purchaser is a licensed firearms dealer.

It is also unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise distribute a firearm to anyone other than a licensed firearms dealer, manufacturer, importer, or collector when the person transferring the weapon knows that the acquiring person does not live in the same state. (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1)).

Ohio Federal Gun Charges Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a federal gun charge, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Our skilled defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm have represented many individuals facing federal firearms charges. Allow us to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.

The stakes are higher at the federal level and you deserve to work with a quality defense lawyer who understands this system. Call (513) 399-6289 to schedule your first consultation for free with Joslyn Law Firm. Our lawyers accept federal gun crime cases in Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounding communities such as Finneytown, Norwood, White Oak, Reading and Northbrook.

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Information Center

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Federal Restrictions On The Possession Of Firearms

The Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. 922(g) makes it unlawful for certain persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition. This includes any person:

  • convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • who is a fugitive;
  • who unlawfully uses or is addicted to a controlled substance;
  • adjudicated as having a mental defect or has been committed to any mental institution;
  • who is an illegal alien;
  • discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • who has renounced their United States citizenship;
  • who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
  • convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

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Federal Prohibitions On Certain Types Of Firearms

Federal firearms laws prohibit transactions in and possession of certain types of firearms. These include:

  • Destructive devices, such as bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles, and mines
  • Machineguns and fully automatic firearms
  • Any firearm silencer, including any device or part designed to silence, muffle or diminish the report of a firearm
  • Certain short-barreled (“sawed-off”) rifles
  • Any firearm not detectable by airport security devices
  • Semi-automatic assault weapons (manufactured after October 1, 1993)
  • Any firearm with a serial number the defendant changed, removed, or destroyed (“filed off”)

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Penalties for Federal Gun Charges

Any person who knowingly violates the federal gun statutes or makes any false statement or representation concerning the information required in applying for any license is subject to fines and a maximum prison sentence of five years or both.

Prior Convictions And The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)

Section 924(e) of Title 18, also known as the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), sets the minimum sentencing guidelines for any person convicted of unlawful gun possession with three prior violent felonies or serious drug charges. Defendants with three prior violent felonies or serious drug charges receive a mandatory minimum 15-year prison sentence.

Aggravating Circumstances And Longer Sentences

Possessing or using a firearm during a violent or drug-trafficking crime may result in additional charges.

  • Possession of a firearm with intent to use it – five additional years.
  • Brandishing a firearm – seven additional years.
  • Discharging a firearm – ten additional years.
  • Possession or use of a shotgun or semi-automatic weapon – up to ten additional years.
  • Using a silencer, automatic gun, or destructive device – thirty additional years. Repeated use of a silencer, machine gun, or destructive device can carry a term of life in prison.

Second or subsequent offenders may receive up to twenty-five additional years. Using the same firearm in more than one violent act may result in longer sentences. Using the same gun to commit two robberies may cause the defendant to receive twenty-five years in addition to the robbery sentence. If the defendant uses the same gun to commit three robberies, an Ohio District Court judge may add forty-five years to the sentence it imposes for the robbery charges.

A convicted felon or drug dealer possessing a firearm can receive a prison sentence of up to ten additional years. Anyone who distributes a firearm to another person, knowing that person will use it in either a violent or a drug trafficking crime, may receive a ten-year enhancement sentence. A person who smuggles a weapon for intended use in a violent or drug-trafficking crime can also receive a ten-year enhancement. Theft of a firearm from a licensed dealer or manufacturer can result in up to ten years added to a defendant’s sentence.

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Statute Of Limitations

Prosecutors have five years from the date of the crime to bring a federal weapons charge. Afterward, the statute of limitations prohibits them from pursuing any offense that is not a capital offense. (18 U.S.C. § 3282). Murder committed using a firearm during a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime is a capital crime. (18 U.S.C. § 924). The prosecution can file an indictment for a capital offense at any time without limitation.

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Defenses for Federal Gun Charges

Potential defenses to federal gun charges include:

  • Lack of probable cause
  • Illegal search
  • Entrapment
  • Fabricated witness testimony
  • The defendant was not knowingly in possession of the gun
  • The defendant had a permit to possess the gun

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Additional Resources

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“A.T.F.”) – Information in a question-and-answer format about a long list of issues related to those who have and do not have a federal firearms license.

Department of Justice (“D.O.J.”) – the D.O.J. lists here the steps it is taking to reduce gun violence in the United States.

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Ohio Federal Gun Charges Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm

If you were arrested for a federal gun charge, Joslyn Law Firm is ready to provide you with experienced representation. Even if you haven’t been arrested yet and the police are simply investigating their suspicions, it is in your best interest to pursue legal counsel as soon as possible.

Federal firearm charges can carry steep penalties and Joslyn Law Firm is ready to fight zealously for your rights. To schedule your first consultation and discuss the details of your case, call (513) 399-6289 today.

Joslyn Law Firm serves the greater Cincinnati area including nearby counties such as Hamilton County, Butler County, Brown County, Warren County, and Clermont County.

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