Weapon / Firearms Crimes

Many weapons or firearms crimes are prosecuted in federal court. Although some firearm crimes are regulatory in nature, most occur because of the illegal use or possession of a firearm. Although the Second Amendment provides for a right “to keep and bear arms," federal law strictly regulate the use and possession of firearms.

Lawyer for Federal Firearm Crimes in San Antonio, TX

If you were charged with a weapon or firearm charged under federal law in the greater San Antonio area, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. During the initial consultation, you can talk with the lawyer about the charges pending against you in federal court, the potential penalties that might come with a conviction, and the best ways to avoid a conviction.

Don Flanary is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX. Call him today at (210) 738-8383 to discuss your case.


Types of Firearm Crimes Prosecuted in Federal Court

Many firearm crimes in federal court are prosecuted under provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 in 18 U.S.C. §§ 922-924. The term "firearm" is defined under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) to include:

  • any weapon capable of expelling a projectile by an explosive action;
  • the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
  • any destructive device;
  • any firearm muffler or silencer.

Dealing, Manufacturing or Importing a Firearm without a License

The prohibitions against dealing, manufacturing or importing a firearm without a license are found in 18 U.S.C. § 922 which apply to anyone other than a properly licensed dealer, importer, or manufacturer. The provisions of 18 U.S.C 924 prohibit the use of a firearm during drug trafficking crimes or violent crimes.


Felon in Possession under Federal Law

The federal prohibitions against a felon possessing a firearm are found in 18 U.S.C § 922. In addition to a convicted felony, the prohibitions also apply to any of the following:

  • A person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
  • A person subject to a court order, protective order, or restraining order that prohibits the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner;
  • A fugitive from justice subject to extradition;
  • A former member of the Armed Forces discharged under dishonorable conditions;
  • A former citizen of the United States who has renounced his/her citizenship;
  • An illegal alien;
  • A nonimmigrant admitted to the United States under a Visa;
  • An unlawful user of or addict to any controlled substance; and
  • An adjudicated mental defective or one who has been committed to a mental institution.

A conviction under § 922 can involve a fine and sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison. A conviction with a prior conviction for a drug or violent felony offense can subject a person to a prison sentence of up to 15 years.


Use of Firearm During Drug Trafficking or Violence Crimes

Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), a person is prohibited from using a firearm or weapon during the commission of any drug trafficking offense or violent crime.


Sentences for Use of Gun in Crime of Violence, Drug Trafficking

With respect to the range of § 924 penalties, all of which are to be applied “in addition to” the predicate offense, they are severe and unforgiving.

  • The possession of a deadly weapon mandates a sentence of not less than 5 years;
  • The brandishing of a firearm mandates a sentence of not less than 7 years;
  • The discharge of a firearm mandates a sentence of not less than 10 years;
  • If the firearm possessed is a short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or semi-automatic weapon, a sentence of not less than 10 years is mandated;
  • If the firearm possessed is a machine gun or is equipped with a silencer (or muffler), a sentence of not less 30 years is mandated; and

A second conviction of any of the foregoing firearm possessions mandates a sentence of not less than 25 years unless the firearm is a machinegun and/or is equipped with a silencer or muffler which mandates a sentence of life imprisonment. A defendant convicted under § 924 is not eligible for probation. Any sentence imposed under § 924 cannot run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment, including the predicate offenses of drug trafficking and/or violence.


Finding a Lawyer for Federal Firearm Crimes in San Antonio, TX

Federal crimes for the illegal use, possession, sale or delivery of firearms are prosecuted in the Western District of Texas in the San Antonio. If you are under investigation for a federal firearm or weapon charged being prosecuted in the Western District of Texas or the San Antonio Division, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC.

Don Flanary also represents clients charged with other types of crimes commonly prosecuted in federal court including serious drug trafficking crimes and crimes involving a firearm. Call (210) 738-8383 for a free and confidential consultation.


This article was last updated on Friday, January 13, 2017.

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