Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person
In 2022, President Biden approved a law increasing the penalty for the sale, transport, or possession of a firearm or ammunition by a prohibited person.
Illegal Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Prohibited Person
Under federal law, it is unlawful for a “prohibited person” to possess, transport, or sell a firearm. Without a strong, vigorous defense, a United States District Court judge frequently sentences a person convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person to prison. A prohibited person is someone who:
- has been convicted in any court of a felony (a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year);
- is a fugitive from justice;
- is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
- has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
- is an alien that is illegally or unlawfully in the United States or the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa;
- has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
- has renounced their U.S. citizenship;
- is subject to a domestic restraining order that was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate, and includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner or child or explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against an intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;
- has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
- intends to sell or dispose of the firearm or ammunition in furtherance of a felony; or
- intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the firearm to a prohibited person.
Penalty for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person
The penalty for Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person is up to 15 years in federal prison. There is no mandatory minimum sentence.
How to Avoid Prison for Illegally Possessing a Gun
A Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person conviction does not require a lengthy prison sentence. Federal sentences are guided by, not controlled by, the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Getting a reduced sentence requires a multi-level attack on the charge, including fighting for lower guidelines, pursuing all legal defenses, and persuasively presenting all available equitable arguments.
The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines involve a complex analysis of a person’s prior contacts with the criminal justice system and the facts of the offense. Once the judge and parties analyze the required factors, they determine the corresponding guideline range. Because the guidelines are advisory, not mandatory, a savvy, intelligent firearms defense lawyer can present a compelling argument for downward departures and variances.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 922?
A “922” refers to the federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 922, which criminalizes the Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Prohibited Person.
Is there a mandatory minimum jail sentence for firearm possession by a prohibited person?
No, there is no minimum sentence; however, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines will most likely suggest that a prison sentence is appropriate. The United States Attorney’s Office almost always asks for incarceration in these cases. An astute, top-rated, expert defense attorney will anticipate the government’s likely argument for jail and be ready with a persuasive counter-argument for no jail. The best attorneys never “wings it,” and they put the time into research and building creative legal and equitable arguments as to why jail should not be required.
Is Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person the same as Possession of a Firearm by a Felon?
These are two separate offenses. Possession of a Firearm by a Felon is a 10-year felony. The 2022 change in the law was designed to ensnare a broader spectrum of people who can be charged with a 922 felony rather than just convicted felons.
Michigan’s Elite Federal Defense Team
The Federal Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. uses a unique team approach to defending our clients. We’ve proven time and time again that having a team of skilled defense lawyers collaborating and fighting together achieves outcomes unattainable by other lawyers. We’ve successfully defended clients on federal Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Prohibited Person and many other federal and state firearms and weapons charges. We are ready, willing, and able to protect and defend you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.