"Illegal firearms" can mean two different things:
- Obtaining firearms illegally - For example, if you buy guns off the back of a van in an alley, most likely it is an illegal firearm. Even obtaining or selling a legal firearm in an illegal manner makes the firearm illegal.
- Certain weapons cannot be possessed legally no matter what.
What Types of Firearms are Considered Illegal to Possess?
There are many types of illegal firearms. Typical ones include:
- Unregistered firearms
- Firearms with serial number removed
- Stolen or illegally obtained firearms
- Automatic weapons or machine guns
- Sawed-off shotguns - Federal law states the barrel of a shotgun must be at least 18 inches.
You should be aware that gun laws can be very different depending on the region as well as the type of gun. For example, some types of sawed-off shotguns are illegal to posses, while other types of sawed-off shotguns may be possessed, so long as they conform to certain tax laws.
Finally, some firearms may be illegal for ordinary citizens to possess, but can be used by certain persons such as law enforcement personnel or persons with certified training.
What are the Consequences for Possessing Illegal Firearms?
If you are caught with an illegal firearm, it is considered a felony. The severity of your punishment depends on many factors such as if you committed a crime with the illegal firearm or your criminal history. A conviction for possessing an illegal firearm can result in:
- Parole or probation
- Heavy fines
- Unable to possess legal firearms in the future
Should I Get an Attorney if I am Charged with Possession of an Illegal Firearm?
If you are convicted of possessing an illegal firearm, you can be in serious trouble. Please consult a criminal defense attorney to learn more about your rights, defenses, and the complicated legal system.