NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 29th August 2023, 07:08 pm
There are millions of people living in the United States who are in legal possession of firearms, and New York State has some of the country’s strictest firearms laws. In addition to NYS laws, there are also federal laws regarding firearms. These laws affect who can buy, sell or own a firearm.
There are several ways to break the federal firearm law, depending on how you attained the firearm or how you used it. There are also legalities concerning who you gave or sold a firearm to. If you’ve been charged with breaking a federal firearm law, you may be up against federal prosecution, including a jail sentence in a federal prison.
Federal Definition of a Firearm
According to the federal definition, which is in 18 U.S. Code Section 921 (3), a firearm is a weapon that can expel a projectile via the use of an explosive. This also means that any weapon that be converted into such a device is considered a firearm. This includes frames, receivers, silencers and mufflers. Note that antique firearms do not typically fit the federal definition.
False Representation When Buying a Firearm
It is in violation of the federal law to purposely make a false statement on a record when buying a firearm. It’s also illegal for a person to sell or give a firearm or ammunition to someone if they feel that they are falsely representing themselves. A person who falls into one of the following categories should not be able to buy a firearm or ammunition:
• A person who has a restraining order against them.
• A person with a warrant out for their arrest and who is avoiding the police because of that warrant.
• A person who has a felony conviction.
• A person who has renounced their citizenship with the United States.
• A person who was dishonorably discharged from the United States military.
• A person who is not legally living in the United States.
• A person who was, at one point, committed in a mental institution.
If the person who is selling the firearm believes or knows that the buyer fits any of the descriptions above, it is illegal for them to either sell or provide the person with a firearm or ammunition. Doing so can mean legal action will be taken against them.
Types of Federal Firearm Crimes
There are several different types of federal firearm crimes, including the following:
• It’s not legal for a person to get a firearm from a firearms dealer if they provided either oral or written statements that are not true. This includes giving false identification to the seller for the sake of deceiving them in order to get the firearm.
• It’s not legal for anyone to barter, conceal, possess, sell, ship or store a firearm if it has crossed New York State lines.
• It’s not legal for anyone to carry, possess or discharge a firearm in a federal building, including a federal court house or a United States post office.
Federal Crimes and Illegal Firearm Trade
In addition to the federal crimes listed above, there are also federal crimes concerning the illegal trade of firearms. It’s illegal to produce, import or even participate in any transaction that involves firearms crossing state lines. Additionally, it’s illegal to distribute or sell a firearm to a person who is not a manufacturer, importer, dealer or collector, and that person must have a license.
Punishment for Firearm Crimes
The type of punishment a person will receive after they’ve committed and been charged with a firearm crime varies based on the specifics of the case. It will need to be decided specifically which statutes have been violated in order to determine the appropriate sentence. Sometimes, the person charged will get the minimum legal sentence. Prison sentences start at five years and can be as long as 30 years. Prison sentences may be given for crimes including firing a firearm while committing a criminal act, or possessing a firearm. Additionally, drug crimes that include a firearm also mean that the person may be given at least the minimum sentence.
Statute of Limitations
There is not a statute of limitations for capital crimes or violent offenses that include a firearm. These may include hijacking, espionage, drive-by shootings, murder or treason. When it comes to firearm crimes that are not a capital or violent offense, the statute of limitations in accordance with 18 U.S. Code 3282 is five years, or a total of 60 months. The statute of limitations means that this is the time limit for prosecuting a firearms crime, so long as it is not a capital crime or a violent offense.
If you’ve been charged with breaking a federal firearm law, contact experienced NYC federal firearm crimes lawyers today.