There are many federal firearms offenses. As discussed in a prior post on our blog, it is illegal to mail a firearm across state lines if neither party is licenses. However, weapons offenses can also occur in the course of a robbery, theft, murder, or any other number of offenses. When faced with these criminal charges, criminal defendants may be in for the fight of their life.
For example, an individual who has the intent to engage in an act that violates any federal or state controlled substance laws and brings a gun into the United States can be imprisoned up to 10 years. It is important to note that this sentence would be in addition to whatever punishment would be handed down for the controlled substance violation. Therefore, federal firearms crime convictions can literally add decades to an individual's prison sentence.
Likewise, an individual who steals a firearm that has been or is traveling through interstate or foreign commerce can be sent to prison for up to 10 years and fined in accordance with the law. Again, these punishments could be in addition to any others handed down for any other offenses committed at the time.
Since the federal government takes every federal weapons crime so seriously, it is critically important for those accused of such crimes to put forth a strong criminal defense. By doing so, these individuals stand a chance of avoiding some of the most serious penalties that can be handed down, thereby protecting their freedom, finances, and professional and personal well-being. An experienced attorney will know how to approach a federal firearms charge and how to utilize evidence, witness testimony, and the law in the most beneficial way possible.
Source: Legal Information Institute, "18 U.S. Code § 924 - Penalties," accessed on Oct. 19, 2014