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3 mistakes that could lead to federal firearm charges

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Criminal Defense

As a gun owner in Missouri, you are subject to state and federal regulations. Despite the Second Amendment stating that there should be very few limitations on your firearm ownership rights, there are still many statutes that regulate firearm ownership and use.

Sometimes, people engaging in what they perceive to be normal or innocent behavior can face criminal charges because of their conduct. Certain behavior puts you at risk of federal firearm charges rather than state offenses.

Selling or transporting firearms across state lines

Individuals do not necessarily need a license to sell a single firearm to another individual. Missouri has no licensing requirements, but the federal rules still apply.

Those who make multiple firearm sales in a single year or who conduct interstate transfers may be subject to licensing requirements. Firearms dealers, those who frequently buy or sell firearms, require a Federal Firearms License, especially if the purchases and sales are a source of profit.

Those selling firearms in another state may run afoul of federal or state firearm statutes while conducting those transfers, especially if they aren’t familiar with the rules in the buyer’s state. Those who misrepresent their firearm transactions could also find themselves accused of fraud, which is often a federal charge.

Possessing illegal firearms for accessories

There are certain kinds of firearms and firearm accessories that are not legal under the federal statutes. There are others that require registration and licensing. Noise reduction accessories, commonly called suppressors, are among the firearm accessories that require licensing just to purchase them under federal law.

Possessing a firearm with certain medical or criminal records

There are federal rules that restrict the right to firearm ownership as it relates to those convicted of certain criminal offenses and those diagnosed with specific mental health disorders. Individuals convicted of felonies and violent offenses, including domestic violence, as well as those dishonorably discharged from the military, could face prosecution for the possession of a firearm.

While firearm infractions are sometimes state offenses, if someone gets caught while on federal land or by federal agents, they could very well face federal charges. The same is true of anyone accused of using a firearm for certain kinds of crime, like drug trafficking.

Ensuring that your gun ownership, transportation and use comply with the law reduces your risk of facing federal criminal charges.