Federal firearms laws govern the sale, possession and use of firearms and ammunition in Florida and other states. Here are some of the most important federal firearms laws to know and the penalties if you break them.
Federal firearms laws
- The Gun Control Act of 1968 – This act prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals, such as felons and fugitives. In addition, it requires gun dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
- The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act – This law prohibits the government from creating a national registration database for firearms owners. It also prohibits the government from requiring gun dealers to report the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same person.
- The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act – This law requires federally licensed gun dealers to perform background checks on all firearm purchasers. The act also imposes penalties for violating its provisions.
- The Undetectable Firearms Act passed in 1988 – This act prohibits the manufacture, importation, possession and sale of firearms that are not detectable by metal detectors.
- The Gun-Free School Zones Act – This act prohibits the possession of firearms within 1,000 feet of any school zone. It also imposes penalties for violating this prohibition.
- The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act – This act bars juveniles from owning guns, forbids manufacturers from making copy-cat models of high-capacity ammunition and bans gun smuggling.
The penalties for violating federal firearms laws
Penalties for violating federal firearms laws are quite serious, so it’s important to prepare a criminal defense for your case. The potential consequences include the following:
- You could face incarceration for up to five years for selling firearms without a license.
- Selling illegal firearms like machine guns can lead to 5-10 years in prison.
- If you make false statements on the paperwork you use to buy a firearm, you could serve up to 10 years in prison.
- A felon possessing a firearm could face 10 years in federal prison.
Federal gun laws supersede state laws. If you commit any federal crime, the federal law enforcement departments will likely take over. The state won’t prosecute you after the federal government does unless there are special circumstances.