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18 U.S.C. 922g – felon in possession of a firearm

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo, PLLC Team

One common federal criminal charge applies to the possession of firearms by felons. 18 U.S.C. 922g includes a variety of situations involving illegal firearm possession, but subsection 1 of that provision states:

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person –

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Thus, a person who was convicted of a criminal charge carrying a potential maximum penalty of one year – typically a felony – can be charged under federal law for possessing a firearm, even if the person was not in fact previously sentenced to a year or more in prison.

It is important to understand that possession is not the same as ownership. Possession can also be constructive, meaning that people can possess firearms in their homes, their cars, their places of employment, or their storage lockers, for example, without even being physically present at the time of the discovery of the firearms. If law enforcement can prove that a person has access to a firearm, and potential control over that firearm, then the person can be found to be in possession of it. Possession need not be exclusive either – under the law, multiple people can possess the same firearm. Indeed, it is common for all of the passengers in a vehicle to be charged with possessing a single firearm in a vehicle.

Determining the penalties for a violation of this crime are complicated and depend largely upon the individual’s criminal history. However, absent other aggravating factors, straight possession of firearm by a felon has a maximum penalty of 10 years. 18 U.S.C. § 924.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922g, you should strongly consider retaining the services of the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC. Mr. Galluzzo is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney and a former prosecutor. He defends relentlessly against the prosecution and advocates fiercely for his clients. Give him a call to discuss your case.

(2) who is a fugitive from justice;

(3) who 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));

(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;

(5) who, being an alien –

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or

(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));

(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) who is subject to a court order that –

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;

(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

(C)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or

(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

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