Federal Firearm Violations
Under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all American citizens are granted the right to keep and bear arms. This right has been repeatedly upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in cases such as District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. While gun possession is legal in the United States, it is not without restrictions and regulations. Violating federal gun laws can result in serious criminal charges and devastating long-term consequences. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee federal crimes lawyer William J. Reddin can assist you in protecting your rights if you are facing prosecution for a firearm violation.Federal Regulation of Firearms
While the federal government cannot prohibit the ownership of guns entirely, it can place restrictions on who can own guns and how guns can be sold and distributed. The national Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulates and enforces federal laws related to gun ownership, including the National Firearms Act and the Armed Career Criminal Act. Under the National Firearms Act, the sale of certain types of firearms is restricted, such as the sale of short-barreled shotguns and gun silencers. Similarly, the NFA requires purchasers of guns to undergo an extensive background check to determine if they have any existing criminal history, among other things, as well as registering their firearm with the government.Common Violations of Federal Firearms Laws
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 922, places a significant number of restrictions on the purchase of firearms in order to reduce instances of violence. Most importantly, the Act prohibits certain people from purchasing handguns and makes it a federal firearm violation for them to be found in possession of a gun. This includes people previously convicted of felonies resulting in at least one year of prison, people who are fugitives, people who are considered addicted to an illegal substance, people committed to a mental institution, and people who do not have legal immigration status. The Act also prohibits people convicted of domestic violence crimes from owning a gun.
Not only can defendants be convicted of a federal crime for owning a gun when they are not legally entitled to do so, but people who assist prohibited individuals in purchasing a gun may be held criminally liable as well. Likewise, federal law also prohibits people from trafficking firearms. This involves taking legal firearms and converting them into illegal firearms by selling them on the black market, stealing them, or otherwise engaging in the unlawful purchase and transfer of such weapons. Finally, people may not manufacture firearms without a license under federal law.
Convictions under federal firearm laws may result in several years of jail time and fines. If an illegally possessed weapon is used in the commission of another crime, punishments may be especially severe.
While owning a gun is a right in this country, it is also a responsibility that must be taken very seriously. If you are considering purchasing a firearm, it is important to make sure that you do so through proper legal channels, such as an authorized firearm seller, and abide by any background checks or other restrictions imposed under state and federal laws. If you have previously been convicted of a crime or overcome addiction or mental health issues, you may wish to consult with an attorney in order to determine whether you are legally entitled to own a gun.Seek Representation from a Federal Crimes Lawyer in Milwaukee
If you have recently been charged with a federal firearms violation because you were in illegal possession of a gun, or you have been accused of illegally assisting someone else in obtaining possession of a gun, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Milwaukee federal crimes attorney William J. Reddin and the staff at Reddin & Singer, LLP, can work with you to evaluate your charges and potential defenses. He can assist defendants in Milwaukee, Racine, Mequon, Port Washington, West Bend, Waukesha, and other communities throughout Milwaukee, Racine, Washington, Ozaukee, and Waukesha Counties. Call our office at (414) 271-6400 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.