Are Gun Crimes Automatically Considered Federal Crimes?

Gun violence is on the rise in New York City. If you are a defendant accused of a gun crime, you could face both federal and state charges. Adding firearms to any other crime can also make the charges and likely sentence far more serious.

 New York itself has very strong gun laws. For example, the NY SAFE Act prevents formerly convicted criminals and people with a history of dangerous mental illness from purchasing guns. The unlicensed possession of a firearm can mean up to 15 years in prison, with a minimum of 3.5 years, and that is for possession and only for possession. Other firearms crimes carry harsher penalties.

Federal gun laws cover the illegal possession of certain weapons, as well as the illegal importation, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms. You must have a license to sell or make guns. You would typically have to register your business with the ATF, as well. 

Defendants can also be charged with a crime if the sell firearms to an unauthorized person, or make false statements regarding firearms. An unauthorized person would be any convicted felon or fugitive of justice, anyone who you know is addicted to a controlled substance or a user of a controlled substance, anyone who has ever been committed, any undocumented immigrant, any soldier who was dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces, any person with a restraining order, and any person who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime in the past. You can also expect to be charged with a federal crime if you sell, deliver, or transfer any weapon to any juvenile. 

It’s also a federal crime to receive, possess, conceal, store, pledge, accept as security for a loan, boarter, sell, ship, or transport any stolen firearm across state lines. The laws that keep firearms out of school zones are also federal laws. 

It’s also a federal offense to carry firearms while committing any violent crime or drug trafficking offense. Doing so and being convicted can mean 25 additional years in prison in addition to the sentence received for the original crime. 

Even if you aren’t committing a gun or violent crime, committing any federal drug crime means a minimum sentence of 10 years in Federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each offense. 

Gun laws are complex, and gun crimes are serious. If you need help because you’ve been charged with a gun crime, you need an experienced federal attorney who can review your options and find the best way to mitigate them.

Contact Koch Law today to schedule a free consultation.

See also:

Do Federal Cases Ever Get Dismissed?

How Discovery Works in Federal Criminal Cases

Types of Immunity in a Federal Criminal Case


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