While the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, that right has limits. North Carolina state and federal law regulates the purchase, sale, and distribution of firearms, and places restrictions on where they can be possessed and by whom. When it comes to guns and federal law, the charges range but are all serious. If you’ve been charged with possession of a firearm in North Carolina, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges.
State and Federal Firearms Offenses
It’s essential to understand the limits associated with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as the possession of a weapon or firearm in specific locations or while engaging in certain activities is illegal.
State and federal laws prohibit the possession of firearms in certain areas and for individuals who have been convicted of specified misdemeanors or felony crimes. Fugitives and individuals with a history of substance abuse are barred from gun possession, as are undocumented aliens and individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from U.S. armed forces.
The most common types of weapons charges in North Carolina include but are not limited to:
- Concealed weapon violations
- Carrying a weapon on a campus
- Possession of a firearm by a felon
- Obtaining firearms illegally
- Illicit weapons trafficking
- Possession of prohibited firearms such as a machine gun or sawed-off shotgun
Firearms Offense Penalties
The penalties for a firearms offense vary greatly based on your criminal history and the details and nature of the crime committed. For example:
- A convicted felon in possession of a firearm is considered a Class G felony under North Carolina General Statute section 14-415.1..(federal punishment, not NC punishment). The maximum possible punishment for NC possession of firearm by felon is 50 months.
- A person previously convicted of one or more firearm-related felony offenses who is currently facing another firearm-related charge may be charged as a habitual armed felon. This is an aggravating factor that triggers enhanced consequences.
- The carrying of any gun, rifle, or pistol into any establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Those found guilty face a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail and a discretionary fine.
For most firearms crimes, serious consequences, such as incarceration, fines, and the suspension of your civil rights, are all possibilities.
Representation for Firearms Charges
When you’re seeking representation for firearms charges, an attorney with experience handling these types of cases is essential. All firearms cases are serious. If you are found guilty, you face a marred reputation, limited opportunities, as well as potential fines, and time behind bars. A skilled attorney will help you by reviewing the circumstances of your case, disputing the prosecution’s case, and defending you in court if needed. Our attorneys regularly represent clients charged with firearms offenses in state and federal court, including a not guilty in a federal firearms jury trial.
Contact Us Today
If you were recently arrested for an alleged firearms crime, don’t delay in contacting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. At Dysart Willis, we believe no one should risk handling serious firearms charges on their own. To learn more about how we can help you, call 919-747-8380 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.