The Florida and federal governments closely regulate who can own and possess a firearm. Though theory behind these laws is that they will keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who are more likely to cause harm and commit crimes, the fact of the matter is that many harmless individuals end up being accused of a criminal offense. As a result, these accused individuals face the very real possibility of significant penalties that could severely damage their lives.
Jeremy Meeks, the man whose "handsome" mugshot went viral on the internet, has now been indicted on a federal firearms offense charge. Authorities say that the charge was levied because Meeks has a 2002 conviction for grand theft, so when he was arrested last month for a parole violation and was found with a gun, he was felon in possession of a firearm, which in some cases is a federal offense. Police allege Meeks was carrying a .45 semi-automatic pistol when he was arrested. If convicted, Meeks could be dealt up to 10 years in prison.
Federal firearm offenses are very serious. An individual convicted of federal firearms offenses can face prison time, long probationary periods and much more. A person prohibited to possess a firearm can face either federal or state charges. Under federal statute a felon in possession of a firearm can face up to 10 years in prison. If an offender has three or more prior convictions they can face a minimum of 15 years in prison, without the opportunity for parole.