New York Federal Gun Lawyer
Federal charges in New York involving the illegal use, possession, transfer, shipping and procurement of firearms are taken extremely seriously by judges and prosecutors, and convictions for any of these crimes regularly result in lengthy prison sentences – frequently with mandatory minimum terms of incarceration – and they occasionally result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Additionally, the use of a firearm during or in relation to the commission of another crime may result in a significant enhancement under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, even if weapons charges were not brought separately by the government in an indictment. Our New York federal gun lawyers could help you protect your legal rights if you are facing any of these firearm offenses.
While there are several federal statutes which prohibit conduct relating to firearms, the following are the most frequently charged:
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g);
- Use or Carrying of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence or Drug Trafficking Offense, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c);
- Unlawful Gun Sales, 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1) and (2);
- False Statements with Regard to Firearms Purchases, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(6), 922(d), 924(a)(1)(A);
- Offenses Involving Stolen Firearms, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(i)-(j); 924(a), (l)-(m);
- Possession and Sale of Firearms with Altered or Obliterated Serial Numbers, 18 U.S.C. § 922(k) and 26 U.S.C. § 5861;
- Possession and Sale of Armor Piercing Ammunition, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(7), 924(c)(5); and
- Unlawful Transfer or Possession of Machine Guns, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(o), § 924(c)(1)(B).
Who Cannot Own a Gun Under Federal Law?
Federal law prohibits certain individuals from owning a gun. If someone falls into one of the prohibited classes and is found using or in possession of a firearm, they may face federal penalties. Among the individuals who federal law bars from gun ownership include persons who have been found guilty of domestic violence, offenses punishable by a jail term exceeding 12 months, felony crimes, and individuals who have a history of dependency on illegal drugs. An individual who has given up their citizenship or entered the United States illegally is also prohibited from owning a firearm. A federal defense attorney in New York could help someone fights charges of illegal possession if they have been incorrectly put into one of these categories.
What Are the Common Sentences for a Federal Gun Crime Conviction?
The sentence attached to a federal gun crime depends on several factors, including the nature of the offense and whether it was used to engage in another criminal act. For instance, if a person fires a gun while committing a violent offense against someone, they could face a base penalty of 10 years of incarceration or a maximum penalty of lifetime confinement.
If someone has been convicted of a federal gun crime in the past, they may face higher penalties for a subsequent conviction. As an example, the first conviction for possessing a gun while engaging in drug trafficking has a minimum sentence of five years of incarceration, while a second conviction for the same offense is punishable by a minimum sentence 25 years in prison.
Note that a court assesses these sentences on top of any other penalties attached to the crime(s) committed in congruence with the gun offense. So, if someone carries a gun for the purpose of trading illegal substances, they can foreseeably face penalties for drug trafficking as well as the specific firearm crime. A federal firearms defense attorney in New York could assess how much jail time a person may be facing based on their specific situation.
Call Our Federal Gun Crimes Attorneys Today
Given the great potential for a lengthy term of incarceration following a conviction for any of the aforementioned crimes, any individual facing federal firearms charges should immediately consult with and retain a top New York federal gun lawyer experienced with this complex statutory scheme.