It is commonly known that there are laws pertaining to the possession of a firearm, but each state also has separate laws regarding other illegal weapons.

What are Illegal Weapons?

Each state has broad latitude to determine what weapons are illegal within its borders.  A few common examples are:

  • Ballistic knifes,
  • Belt buckle knifes,
  • Cane swords,
  • Billy clubs,
  • Large-capacity ammunition magazines,
  • Ammunition with or containing an explosive agent,
  • Camouflaging firearm container,
  • Any gun not immediately recognizable as a firearm, or
  • Metallic knuckles.

What Acts Violate an Illegal Weapon Law?

Each state is free to choose, and most illegal weapon laws make a variety of activities illegal.  They can range from:

  • Manufacturing or causing illegal weapons to be manufactured,
  • Importing illegal weapons into a state,
  • Selling or keeping illegal weapons for sale,
  • Giving or lending illegal weapons, and
  • Possession of an illegal weapon.

Are There any Exemptions from Illegal Weapon Laws?

Each state has its own exemptions for violations of its illegal weapon law, but most include:

  • Police departments, the Department of Justice, the Armed forces, or any of their authorized agents,
  • Licensed self defense schools,
  • Antiques, relics, and instruments used in a collection,
  • The use during motion pictures, television or video production, or
  • Forensic laboratories.

What are the Consequences for Violating an Illegal Weapon Law?

If you violate an illegal weapon law, you have generally committed a felony and could face criminal punishment that can range from:

  • Jail time, from 1 to 5 years,
  • Fines, from $100 to $10,000,
  • Community service, or
  • Loss of driver's license.

Do I Need an Attorney if I Have Violated an Illegal Weapon Law?

If you are charged with violating a state's illegal weapon law, it is highly recommended that you contact a criminal lawyer.  Only they will be able to fully explain the issues and assist in your defense.