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Under federal law, it is a serious crime for certain prohibited persons to possess or sell firearms, or for anyone to possess certain types of illegal firearms or to use a firearm in furtherance of some other crime, such as robbery or drug trafficking. All of these offenses can result in harsh sentences.
Prohibited persons who may not possess or sell a firearm include a convicted felon, a drug user or addict (there does not have to be a conviction – it is enough if drug paraphernalia were seized from this person, or a finding of other indications of drug addiction or use), a non-citizen who does not have a green card, someone who is subject to a domestic restraining order or has a prior domestic violence conviction, someone who is a fugitive from justice (defined as anyone who fled across state lines to avoid prosecution or testifying in a criminal trial), someone who was dishonorably discharged from the military.
Possession of a firearm or ammunition by any of these persons can be punished with up to 10 years in prison, and can be raised to 15 or more years if the person has three or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence and/or drug trafficking.
In order to be convicted in federal court, the firearm or ammunition in question must have been transported across a state line at any time. This however, does not give the way out as it seems to, because it applies to transportation at any time, including during manufacture or supply chain.
Selling or giving a firearm to persons in the above categories also carries a sentence of 10 years in prison.
If you have been arrested and accused of illegally possessing a firearm or ammunition, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney at once. There is too much at stake for you to take risks.
Call our experienced criminal defense lawyers at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.