Most weapons and gun offenses are state crimes investigated by local law enforcement and prosecuted in a state criminal court. However, some types of gun crimes could result in federal charges that the United States Attorney's Office prosecutes in a federal courtroom.
For example, two main statutes dealing with federal gun crimes include 18 U.S.C. § 922 and 18 U.S.C. § 924. Federal gun charges are normally harshly punished and carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Federal gun offenses are investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), among others.
These types of federal cases are very serious, and you will need to retain a federal criminal attorney who understands the court process and the federal sentencing guidelines.
What Are Federal Gun Crimes?
Gun offenses are violations of different federal statutes that regulate deadly weapons. A firearm is described as any weapon designed or converted to expel a projectile using an explosive.
Federal laws regulate the possession, purchasing, selling, manufacturing, or distribution of firearms. These statutes also ban certain firearms, such as semiautomatic assault weapons and machine guns. They also prohibit selling a gun to a convicted felon.
There are various gun charges prosecuted in federal court, such as illegal possession, trafficking of firearms, or any federal offenses involving the use of a firearm.
Federal gun statutes deal with offenses involving firearms and other deadly weapons, such as:
- Knowingly possess an illegal firearm,
- False statement in order to purchase a gun,
- Using a weapon to commit a crime,
- Selling a firearm or ammunition to a prohibited person,
- Dealing firearms without a license,
- Selling a weapon to a minor,
There are many laws and regulations set in place to control weapon usage and possession, and people can sometimes inadvertently find themselves in violation of weapon laws.
Federal Government Attempting to Stop the Flow of Guns
The feds are very interested, especially as I make this post about controlling guns in the United States across the country.
So, in Los Angeles, where my main office is, we have all kinds of issues going on with the federal government getting involved with stopping the flow of guns into the United States and the flow of guns moving between the states.
Guns are a big issue right now because of what's going on in the country related to mass shootings and other issues regarding murders in LA County and across California.
So, one big thing is, the feds are interested in big gun cases, meaning guns are being shipped and sold illegally in the United States.
So, the feds will get involved in cases like that, and obviously, if you want to defend yourself, first you have to be able to mount an argument that you're innocent — that you didn't do anything to violate federal law.
If you did violate federal law, then we want to get you outside the category of offenders who are putting guns on the streets, putting guns in gang member's hands and putting guns in criminals' hands.
That's what they're concerned about. They're also concerned about the movement of illegal guns like assault rifles because of the danger that poses, not only for society but law enforcement, in specific.
Developing a Strategy to Resolve the Gun Case
So, you start to get the feel that gun cases at the federal level are political. As a defense attorney, I'm trying to get you out of the political aspect of the gun and make it more just something that you did that had no bearing on the rest of society was something you did yourself.
Again, they first have to prove that you've done something illegal. If you haven't done anything illegal, then we'll take a complete defense approach and show that you did nothing illegal and get the case either dismissed or a not-guilty verdict in front of a jury.
However, whatever it is they're claiming you did falls squarely within a violation of a federal statute, then we're going to have to deal with the case a different way.
We're going to have to figure out how we can resolve the case, obviously, keeping the important tenants of the defense of criminal cases in mind, like:
- keeping you out of jail,
- trying to protect your criminal record.
There are a whole host of other things because once the feds get involved with you, such as:
- you're looking at serving jail time — 85% at the federal level,
- you're going to be on federal supervised release, which is a form of probation.
There's a whole bunch of different things that happen to you, and your life gets impacted in a negative way because nobody wants the government trying to control them and telling them what to do.
Retain a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
That's where you get a great federal criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights, your interest, your liberty, your reputation, and your freedom, all of the things that you hold dear in your life.
That's my job as your federal criminal defense advocate. So, if you or a loved one has a gun case anywhere in the United States at the federal level, I can certainly help you.
My own backyard, though, is Los Angeles, California, and of course, surrounding counties like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange County. I'm in these courts all the time defending people for big gun cases.
Pick up the phone. Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. We can usually set up something in my office or even talk over the phone to discuss your case to get our strategy together and get a game plan together.
I think that's one of the most important things for people when they're being charged with a federal gun case. Obviously, they're concerned about what the potential ramifications are, and I don't blame them.
But the first step is figuring out how we are going to defend this.
- what am I facing, and
- what is it I can do with the help of my attorney to get the best result?
That's what we're focused on right from the beginning, to help you not only take control of your case but take control of your life because when you've got a federal gun case pending against you, that's a scary thing, and you want to do whatever you can to get it ahead of it.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We offer a free consultation at (213) 542-0994.