Federal Gun Charges

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced federal gun charges lawyers. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case by case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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Federal Gun Charges Lawyer


Helping Individuals who have been Arrested or Charged with a Federal Gun Offense

There are a variety of possible gun charges that someone could face at the federal level, all of which carry significant penalties upon conviction, based on the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Fortunately, there are a variety of defenses that you might be able to assert in response to a gun charge to reduce your penalties or even have your case dismissed. 

If you have been arrested or charged with a federal gun offense, you need an experienced lawyer by your side who has experience litigating in federal court and who will fight for you every step of the way. Given the significance of the potential penalties upon conviction, representing yourself in a federal case of this nature is an extremely bad move. Our experienced federal criminal defense lawyers at the Joslyn Law Firm will leave no stone unturned when it comes to defending you against your federal criminal gun charge. Please give us a call today at 614-444-1900 or contact us online to see how we can fight for you in your criminal matter.

When Gun Charges Fall under Federal Law

Many gun charges, including gun possession, are prosecuted at the state level. In those instances, state law governs the criminal case. Gun charges could also be prosecuted at the federal level, however, when illegal firearms cross state lines or come from another country and enter into a state.

Defining a Firearm under Federal Law

Pursuant to the United States Code, any weapon that expels a projectile by using some sort of explosive action or mechanism (such as a trigger) constitutes a firearm. Since they use compressed air to expel a projectile, a BB gun and a pellet gun do not satisfy the definition of a firearm under federal law. Firearms also include receivers and frames for qualifying weapons, mufflers and silencers for qualifying weapons, and explosive devices, including hand grenades, bombs, mines, and missiles. Even “homemade” weapons, including sawed-off shotguns and pipe bombs, still qualify as firearms for purposes of federal law. All firearms must include a serial number that is clearly visible on the firearm.

Federal Gun Charges

A variety of different offenses could result in a gun charge at the federal level. An individual could be arrested on a federal gun charge in any of the following circumstances: 

  • The accused imports, manufactures, receives, or exports a firearm without the necessary license
  • The accused receives a firearm that has been stolen or steals a firearm for his or her own use
  • An individual with a valid license to manufacture firearms manufactures a sawed-off rifle, sawed-off shotgun, silencer, semi-automatic weapon, or another illegal firearm
  • An individual illegally possesses a sawed-off rifle, sawed-off shotgun, silencer, semi-automatic weapon, or another illegal firearm

There are also federal laws and regulations in place that prohibit certain classes of people from transferring or possessing a firearm from state to state – even if they come to possess the firearm in a legal manner. Those classes of individuals include the following:

  • Individuals who have previously been convicted of a felony offense or who are pending a felony trial
  • Individuals who are habitual drug users or drug addicts, subject to satisfying certain conditions that establish that the individual in question is a drug user
  • Individuals who are illegal aliens in the United States
  • Individuals who are not permanent legal residents of the United States
  • Individuals who have previously been convicted of a domestic assault charge
  • Individuals who have been accused of committing a domestic assault and who have had a restraining order issued against them by a judge
  • Individuals who have received an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces
  • Individuals who are deemed fugitives from justice
  • Individuals who reside in a mental institution or another facility that is reserved for mentally ill persons
  • Individuals whom a court has determined to be mentally ill

Penalties for Gun Convictions

A conviction for a federal firearm charge could result in significant penalties, including fines, jail time, or some combination thereof. These convictions could also impact the offender for the rest of his or her life – especially if the offender is required to register as a gun offender. Moreover, any record of a criminal conviction is visible online and could impact an offender’s future job prospects, educational opportunities, and living arrangements.

Pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act, individuals who have prior serious drug charges or violent felony charges on their records could face even harsher penalties if they are ultimately convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. For example, individuals who are convicted of unlawful firearm possession and who have three prior serious drug or violent felony charges on their criminal records are looking at a minimum of 15 years in jail.

Murder or Manslaughter that Involves a Firearm

If you are charged and convicted of a homicide, including involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter, or murder, and the homicide involved the use of a firearm, you will be sentenced to jail time as follows: 

  • A maximum of eight years in jail for an involuntary manslaughter conviction that involves a firearm
  • A maximum of 15 years in jail for a voluntary manslaughter conviction that involves a firearm
  • A maximum of life imprisonment for a second-degree murder conviction that involves a firearm
  • A maximum of death or life imprisonment for a first-degree murder conviction that involves a firearm

Contact a Federal Gun Charge Attorney Today

If you have been arrested or charged with illegal possession or sale of a firearm by federal authorities, you could be looking at significant penalties if you are ultimately convicted of your charge. Attorney Brian Joslyn and the Joslyn Law Firm can discuss your federal charge with you and help you decide upon your best options for moving forward and defending against your charge.

To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced federal gun charge attorney, give us a call today at 614-444-1900 or contact us online for more information about how we could assist you with your case.


  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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