A previous post here discussed how federal firearms offenses can significantly increase a convicted individual's penalties, even when facing another criminal charge. California and the United States government crack down hard on individuals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime. Therefore, they often prosecute a federal weapons crime to the fullest extent. This threatens an accused individual with several additional years behind bars and other penalties that can seriously damage life.
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.
Federal law enforcement authorities from the DEA to the ATF take the enforcement of federal criminal law very seriously. The same is true for the federal attorneys who prosecute these cases. That is also why it is vital for individuals accused of federal crimes, such federal firearm offenses to consult with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. It could very well have a substantial effect on the outcome of your case.
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.
Federal weapons charges can come with serious consequences. From owning illegal weapons, to selling or trading illegal firearms on the black market, individual's accused of federal firearms offenses face harsh penalties from long prison sentences to hefty fines. California readers may find the following story about a California border patrol officer recently accused of shipping military grade weapons overseas interesting.