While the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects a person's right to bear arms, there are actually many restrictions on gun ownership. Under the Brady Act, for example, a person cannot own a gun if they were convicted of a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison. Crimes punishable by more than one year in prison are felony offenses under federal law.
According to news reports, authorities have charged a 43-year-old army veteran from California with federal firearms offenses. The man is accused of possessing at least eight illegal handguns, a rifle, two shotguns, nearly 50 high-capacity magazines and almost 1,200 rounds of ammunition. The items were discovered in the man's house following a three-week long, multi-agency violence suppression detail.
According to a news release from the police, the man was previously convicted of the possession child pornography. The veteran is currently serving three years in prison for a probation violation in 2010. If he is convicted of illegally possessing the weapons, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison. The FBI is conducting an ongoing federal investigation into the alleged crime.
Felons convicted of a federal weapons crime, including the illegal possession of firearms, can face serious consequences. In addition to a potential parole violation that could immediately result in re-incarceration, under federal law, a prohibited person knowingly in possession of a firearm can be subject to a lengthy prison sentence. This is especially true if the person has three or more convictions for violent felonies or drug trafficking offenses. Because of this, it is important that those facing charges of weapons crimes understand all their available legal options.
Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, "Pomona man, an Army veteran, indicted on weapons violations," Canan Tasci, Nov. 23, 2013