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South Carolina Federal Gun Lawyer

Any time someone violates federal law regarding the lawful purchase, sale, possession, and use of firearms, they may face charges under federal law as an alternative or even in addition to state-level charges. Unfortunately, contesting federal gun charges can be challenging, especially for someone unfamiliar with how federal courts and criminal sanctions differ from those exclusive to South Carolina.

A seasoned South Carolina federal gun lawyer could be an irreplaceable ally to have on your side while navigating accusations of this nature. Whether you have been charged with and convicted of federal gun charges before or have a clean criminal record, a knowledgeable federal defense attorney could be a tenacious advocate on your behalf through each stage of your legal proceedings.

Federal Gun Possession and Distribution Laws

In addition to state regulations, federal law establishes several categories of people who are ineligible to lawfully possess a firearm for business or personal use. As per 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), people who may not own firearms under federal law include:

  • People convicted of any felony offense punishable by at least one year of imprisonment
  • Anyone addicted to or illegally using any controlled substance
  • Anyone who was dishonorable discharged from the U.S. military
  • People living unlawfully in the U.S.
  • Fugitives from justice
  • Anyone committed to a mental institution or ruled by a court to be mentally ill
  • Anyone with a domestic violence restraining order or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in court
  • Anyone who has renounced their U.S. citizenship

A violation of this subsection carries a maximum federal prison sentence of five to 10 years, depending on the defendant’s specific actions.

Additional Illegal Activities Under This Statute

While people in these categories cannot possess a firearm under any circumstances, there are additional gun-related activities that are forbidden under federal law. This statute also criminalizes:

  • Selling firearms without appropriate licenses
  • Possessing a machine gun
  • Making false statements while purchasing a firearm
  • Knowingly selling firearms or ammunition to a person who is under 18 years old or otherwise barred from owning a firearm
  • Knowingly selling a firearm not considered a rifle or shotgun to a person under 21

A proactive South Carolina attorney could review the circumstances of a federal gun charge to work on building the best possible defense on a defendant’s behalf.

How Gun Possession Could Enhance Other Charges

One element of federal gun charges that can make them especially challenging to contest is the fact that they are often accompanied by—and serve as aggravating factors for the prosecution of—other criminal offenses. For example, under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), anyone who uses or possesses a firearm while committing any violent crime or drug trafficking offense is subject to a mandatory minimum five-year federal prison term for a first conviction, with progressively longer sentences for each subsequent offense.

The specific ways in which the presence of a firearm may escalate the severity of  criminal charges varies substantially depending on the underlying facts of the case. In some cases—like the one covered by 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)—the sentences for each charge may not run concurrently. A federal gun lawyer in South Carolina could provide custom-tailored support to try and reduce the gun-related criminal charges a particular defendant is facing.

Speak With a South Carolina Federal Gun Attorney Today

While the Constitution enshrines the basic right to own firearms, numerous laws regulate and restrict that right in the United States. Violating any of these laws can have serious repercussions both in and out of federal court, including years behind bars and the permanent loss of gun ownership rights.

Fortunately, help is available from a dedicated South Carolina federal gun lawyer. Call today to schedule a consultation and have a skilled defense attorney review your case.

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