Too often we may hear the phrase: Laws are made to be broken. Well, just a word to the wise…. I’m quite sure that this DOES NOT apply to firearms laws and control regulations. Seriously guys, please ensure that when in possession of any firearm you are within compliance with all federal and most especially all state and local regulations. Having to suffer the penalties (we will cover the general penalties later after the story….yes there’s a story!!!) will not be a pretty day.
Justin tries to be a good kid. He also loves to drive fast. About 2 years ago he was convicted of 3rd degree vehicular homicide (a felony crime), and since he was a first time offender and a college student in good standing, the judge allowed him to suffer only time served, a revoked license, and 5 years on probation. One day in the quad, Justin meets a friend of a friend. Squeeze was offering big bucks for someone to go to Alabama, purchase 5 firearms from 5 different stores with a fake ID, and bring them back. He said that he needed them to in-turn sell them to some “friends” that needed to do some “work.” Justin was his huckleberry. Easy money? Walmart sells the guns Justin needed and it’s always packed in there so no one would really pay attention. He decided to go to the first Walmart, fill out the ATF forms, undergo the NCIS background check (with the fake ID), and see how it goes. If it worked he would make this easy money and be done with it right?
Well, only if right means WRONG!!! To all of you “Justin’s” out there understand this….If it was that easy, and legal, we all would be doing it!!! So please get a grip and understand the gravity of what the underlying lessons of this simple story holds. Just a word to the wise….
Fortunately, for our illustrative purposes, Justin crossed state lines. This automatically makes it a Federal crime so we will only cover the some of the Federal punishments that he faces if caught. For starters, Justin is a convicted felon which is a clear indication that he should be NO WHERE near a firearm. Secondly, he is using a fake ID. (C) He crossed state lines with illegally purchased firearms. The list goes on! If caught Justin will most likely face a stiff fine and imprisonment. Justin could face up to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for each offense when arrested (possession of a firearm). In addition, each gun would constitute a separate count for each offense. There is an alternative sentence of 10 years for knowingly violating several firearms provisions, which would increase the total federal felony sentence to 470 years. I know you read it, but did you hear that?!?!? That’s 470 years! The penalty provisions of the Gun Control Act also define additional offenses and enhanced penalties that would increase Justin’s sentence further: (1) Justin’s knowledge that crimes would be committed with the guns he transported would add 50 years of sentencing time. (2) Justin’s trip to Alabama to acquire firearms to be used in illegal dealing in firearms is a felony carrying a sentence up to 10 years. (3) Justin’s conspiracy with Squeeze to purchase in another state and provide firearms to be used in a crime of violence is punishable by a sentence up to 20 years. You’d need a calculator to add up all the time that Justin could possibly face for breaking the law. Abide by firearms laws people. Just a word to the wise….
***In addition to federal gun laws, most states and some local jurisdictions have additionally imposed their own firearms restrictions. Please be aware that some state gun control laws are not specific to residents of that state, meaning that visitors to a state may be prosecuted under local laws even if they do not live there.
When I was in the 5th grade, my teacher Ms. Beaty used to tell me “…..a word to the wise is sufficient.” If you have a firearm please ensure that you are familiar with and in compliance with all federal, state, and local firearm rules, regulations and statues. Take it from Justin, he still has about 507 years left on his prison sentence.
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And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low.