Gun rights are a perpetual hot button issue. But, despite your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, there are numerous laws governing the ownership and use of firearms. If you find yourself accused of violating state or federal gun laws, you are very likely at risk of some serious penalties.
Even if you believed you were following the laws, you can be charged. Ignorance of the law isn’t a justifiable defense in a court of law. In other words, even if you didn’t know you were in violation, you can face criminal charges.
Any criminal record is going to be a problem for most people. When your criminal record features weapons violations, however, it’s especially difficult. Having to disclose past charges like these can seriously impact your ability to find work and even to find residence.
Not to mention that if you have a criminal record in the first place, just owning a gun may be against the law.
While the exact laws and penalties vary from state to state, most states completely outlaw the use of some types of weapons. Possessing a short barreled shotgun, for example, is typically a felony offense punishable by several years in prison.
Similarly, possessing any firearm without the license or permit to do so is probably the most common gun crime. Typically, if this is your first offense, this charge is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
Things like brandishing or showing off a weapon in a threatening manner can land you in prison with a felony conviction. Showing the act was in self defense would be a job for your defense attorney and if proven, could get the charges dropped altogether.
Laws govern what type of firearm you can own, how you can go about getting it, and the documentation needed to legally possess it. They also govern just where you can carry it and how it must be carried or transported. When it comes to gun laws, there are many opportunities for criminal charges.
Because these laws vary so much from state to state, knowing exactly what you’re up against is a matter for a local defense lawyer. You need to speak with someone highly experienced with the gun laws in your state or city. Some cities or municipalities like Chicago or Washington DC have their own, very strict gun statutes. If you’re facing any firearm or weapons charges, fill out the contact form and we can put you in touch with someone today.
By discussing the details of your case with someone who knows the local courts and the local laws, you will give yourself the best opportunity to defend yourself against a criminal gun charge or weapons offense. Contact us for a free consultation with a local defense lawyer.