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What are the penalties for federal firearms offenses?

Using a gun in the commission of a crime can significantly increase the sentence. Sentences for federal firearms offenses can be particularly severe. Oregonians who are facing such accusations should be aware of the possible penalties they are facing in order to prepare the best possible criminal defense for their trial.

There is a broad range of sentences for federal gun charges. For example, possession of a firearm by a drug user or convicted felon can result in a sentence of up to ten years.

The accused should also be concerned about the totality of the charges. Federal gun charges can enhance other criminal charges and lead to a stiffer sentence. For example, if a person is convicted of robbing a federal bank and allegedly used a gun, that person will have to deal with the robbery sentence as well as the firearms penalties. These sentences increase with multiple criminal acts. If a defendant is convicted of robbing three federally insured banks or other businesses transacting interstate commerce, 45 years can be added to the robbery sentence.

Do the charges change if different firearms are used? Yes. In a violent crime, if an assault weapon or shotgun is used by an accused person, 10 years can be added to the prison sentence. If the accused used a silencer, automatic weapon or a destructive device, another thirty years in prison can be added to the sentence.

What can an Oregonian facing federal firearms charges do? An accused person can try to negotiate for a plea deal to reduce the severity of the charges, or fight for the dismissal of the charges. Anyone facing federal charges should have an aggressive criminal defense attorney on their side.

Source: Justice.gov, "112 Firearms charges," Accessed on Sept. 30, 2014

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