Federal Gun Charge: What It Is and What You Need to Know


Federal gun charge is a serious offense. An individual who possesses, buys, sells, uses firearms when sale or transport cross state lines are the common charges. 

Federal Gun Charge


A federal gun charge is something you never want to face. As a law-abiding citizen, the last thing you want to do is to wind up in a federal court. But, should that happen, what are your options?

Here are facts about gun charges under federal gun laws you should be aware of!


A Federal Gun Charge is Not the Same as a State Gun Charge


Many people do not realize that there are two different laws concerning gun crimes: federal and state. Federal gun charges refer to charges imposed by federal prosecutors, while state gun charges refer to charges imposed by the state in which you live.

It is important to note that federal gun charges are subject to much stiffer sentences than state gun charges. This is why you must contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible for advice if you have federal firearm charges against you.


What Is a Federal Gun Charge?

Federal gun charges are crimes that involve the illegal possession or use of a firearm. It can be either a violent crime or a non-violent offense. Violent federal gun charges include offenses like illegal possession of a firearm, unlawful possession by a felon, and felon in possession of a firearm. Convicted felons are charged under federal criminal law.

Non-violent federal gun charges include the unlawful sale of a firearm, unlawful transfer, and straw purchase.

A convicted felon with charges of a stolen gun requires an experienced federal defense attorney, or else he may end up in federal prison.


Federal Gun Charge Meaning and Types

The penalties for committing this type of crime can be severe.

If you have committed a federal crime, the court will sentence you to prison, and you don’t want to have that on your record. As a result, you might lose your right to own firearms and carry them in public and your right to vote under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

If you want to get your firearm rights back, you will need a gun lawyer to help fight the charges against you so you don’t wind up with a felony conviction on your record.

But if you get caught with a gun, the chances are pretty good that you will be charged with a federal felony. And if you are arrested with a gun connected to any drug crime, likely, the police will initially charge you with both violations — even if it turns out later that the gun was not used in connection with any drug crime.

The most common federal gun crimes are being found in possession of a firearm concerning controlled substance crimes (making or selling drugs) and possession of firearms during an illegal drug transaction (selling drugs). This will likely subject you to a mandatory minimum sentence.

What Makes a Gun Charge Federal?


A federal gun charge is any firearm or ammunition illegally acquired, possessed, transferred, or sold. The feds don’t have to prove that you intended to sell it to someone else — they have to show that the guns were used in a crime. So what does this mean for you?

  • It could mean the end of your relationship with your gun dealer.
  • It also means that you’re likely facing a heavier sentence if convicted.


Laws Regarding Federal Gun Charges


Any criminal charge is stressful and carries the possibility of serious repercussions, but this is especially true when it comes to federal gun charges. While many gun-related crimes are prosecuted at the state level, there are several instances in which federal law enforcement officers may become involved. Therefore, if you face federal gun charges, you must speak with a lawyer who can help you build a strong defense by understanding your rights.

What is the Average Sentence for a Federal Gun Charge?

In general, federal charges are more severe than state charges. In addition, most federal crimes come with mandatory minimum sentences — meaning that judges have no leeway in how many years you must serve in prison.

A person may be convicted of a federal gun crime if they:

  • Possess or carry a firearm during the commission of another federal felony or drug trafficking crime;

  • Possess an illegal firearm or explosive device;

  • Transport firearms or ammunition in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a felony;

  • Possess a firearm while subject to a court order restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening a child of an intimate partner or the partner.


What Is the Average Sentence for a Federal Gun Charge?

The most common federal weapons charges are for possession of a firearm by a felon or someone otherwise prohibited from possessing one. Penalties for such crimes range from 10 years to life in prison, but the exact penalty varies based on the precise circumstances.

Time behind bars may also depend on the strength of the case against the defendant and how they handle it. For example, someone who admits guilt and cooperates with the government can expect a shorter sentence than someone who fights the charge and loses.

Federal Gun Charges Guidelines


To convict for a gun charge, he law requires the government to prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. That you committed the underlying offense;

2. That you possessed, carried, or used a firearm during and about the commission of the offense; and

3. The possession, carrying, or use was knowing and willful.


Federal Gun Charges Penalties


Being convicted of unlawful possession of guns does not have to result in maximum penalties. The judge will consider factors such as your criminal history and the circumstances of the offense when determining your sentence. Your federal defense gun lawyer can help you present your case in court to maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.

The consequences of getting charged with a gun offense vary depending on the charge and other factors. If you are convicted of a federal firearms offense, you will lose both your state and federal gun rights.

As part of your sentence, you may be ordered to:

  • Pay a fine
  • Spend time in prison or jail
  • Complete supervised probation
  • Pay restitution


Federal Gun Lawyer

To sum it up, always note that if you’re caught up in a gun charge with the Feds, it’s essential to reach out for help. You need an attorney who knows Federal law and can navigate these waters on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation; we have years of experience dealing with firearms cases and can help you with yours!


We Fight for Your Rights!