Defending Federal Gun Cases

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 usually are 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 severe, and you must 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 any weapon designed or converted to expel a projectile using an explosive.

Federal laws regulate firearms possession, purchase, sale, manufacturing, or distribution. These statutes also ban certain firearms, such as semiautomatic assault weapons and machine guns. They also prohibit selling a gun to a convicted felon.

What Are Federal Gun Crimes?

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 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,

Gun offenses are frequently charged along with other crimes such as kidnapping, drug crimes, or bank robbery.

Many laws and regulations are set in place to control weapon usage and possession, and people can sometimes inadvertently find themselves violating 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 firearms 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 that the feds are interested in significant 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 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 worried about the movement of illegal guns like assault rifles because of the danger that they pose, not only for society but also for law enforcement in particular.

What Are the Common Mistakes to Avoid?

If you or a loved one is charged with having a gun related to a federal crime, you want to hire a criminal defense attorney who has a lot of experience dealing with these types of offenses. These usually come in a couple of different forms.  

First, you have people who are selling guns – usually, the type of guns they're not supposed to be selling, or selling large amounts of guns, or selling what we call ghost guns with no serial numbers.  If the feds get involved, the person is facing several years in federal prison, and you want to ensure you don't make any mistakes.

The first common mistake I see is people talking to the government about the case – giving them information, answering their questions – and usually, this leads to the government being able to lock in an air-tight case against them where they cannot get their way out. They're going to be pleading guilty.  It's just a matter of how much time they will spend.

Another type of gun case that I see in addition to actually moving illegal guns, whether they be rifles or assault weapons – is a situation where somebody is committing one crime, like, for example, a drug offense, and then they end up having a gun related to that gun offense under Section 924(c) which talks about an enhancement – a 5-year enhancement on top of whatever sentence they get for the underlying offense because they used a gun during the commission of a crime.

So, if you find yourself in this situation, don't talk to the police.  Hire an attorney immediately- whether you're being investigated or already being charged.  You don't want to make the common mistake of answering law enforcement questions and putting yourself in the worst possible position.

Another thing I see people do that is a common mistake related to federal drug charges is doing nothing.  They don't hire an attorney.  They don't do anything.  They just put their head in the sand and hope for the best.  This is a mistake because there are many things you can do proactively to help yourself. Whatever the situation, once you know you're being investigated, you've been arrested or charged, or a loved one of yours has a federal case involving guns, get an attorney on it right away.

Developing a Strategy to Resolve the Gun Case

So, you start to get the feeling 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, 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 they're claiming you did falls squarely within a violation of a federal statute, so we will have to deal with the case differently.

We're going to have to figure out how we can resolve the case keeping the essential 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 will be on federal supervised release, a form of probation.

Many different things happen to you, and your life gets impacted negatively because nobody wants the government to control them and tell 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, interest, liberty, reputation, and freedom, all of which 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 national level, I can undoubtedly help you.

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

My backyard, though, is Los Angeles, California, and surrounding counties like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange County.  I'm in these courts defending people for significant 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.  They're concerned about the potential ramifications, and I don't blame them.

But the first step is figuring out how we will defend this.

  • what am I facing, and
  • what can I 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 in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. We offer a free consultation at (213) 542-0994.

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Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about Federal Criminal Defense issues in Los Angeles and Encino California. We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.