Federal Weapons Crimes

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data gathering, data research, and data distribution organization at Syracuse University, United States Department of Justice (DOJ) data shows that 2022 had 9,559 convictions, which is the most federal weapons convictions of any year since they started recording the data.

The United States federal government has passed several laws relating to the regulation of firearms and other weapons, and violations of such laws carry very steep penalties.

Judges may not impose prison terms that are lower than the federal mandatory minimum sentences required for certain kinds of criminal offenses. It is important to keep in mind that federal prosecutors often have far greater resources at their disposal than their state counterparts.

Lawyer for Federal Weapons Crimes in Salt Lake City, UT

Were you arrested or do you think that you could be under investigation for a federal weapons offense anywhere in Utah? Make sure to exercise your right to remain silent until you have the opportunity to contact Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP.

Our criminal defense lawyers in Salt Lake City defend clients in communities all over Salt Lake County, such as Taylorsville, Copperton Township, Herriman, Holladay, Kearns, Magna, Midvale, Millcreek, Riverton, and many others.

Call (801) 532-5297 today to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Additional Information About Salt Lake County Federal Weapons Crimes

  • Who is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm or ammunition?
  • What are other federal weapons charges?
  • Where can I find more information about federal weapons crimes in Salt Lake City?

Federal Weapons Prohibitions in Utah

One of the most common federal weapons offenses is the crime of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a prohibited person, which is outlined in Title U.S.C. § 922. TRAC reports from prior years show that violations of Title 18 U.S.C. § 922 have historically beenthe most frequently recorded lead chargeUnder Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), it is illegal for a person to possess a firearm or ammunition if he or she:

  • has been convicted in any court of, 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;
  • has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
  • being an alien is illegally or unlawfully in the United States or has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
  • has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • having been a citizen of the United States has renounced his citizenship; or
  • has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) also makes it illegal for a person to possess a firearm or ammunition if he or she is subject to a court order that:

  • was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
  • 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;
  • includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; and
  • includes a finding that 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.

Under Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(n) it is also unlawful for any person who is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm or ammunition or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Other Federal Weapons Crimes in Salt Lake City

Other federal laws may be the basis for certain kinds of weapon crimes that allegedly occurred on federal property or involved federal agencies. Some weapons offenses may have involved crimes committed in multiple states, weapons crossing state lines, or weapons being sold to a minor. 

  • Sale or disposal of a firearm or ammunition to a prohibited person - Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)
  • Straw purchasing - Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) and Title 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A)
  • Receiving, possessing, transporting, shipping, concealing, storing, bartering, selling, or disposing of stolen firearm, ammunition, or explosives - Title 18 U.S.C. § 842(h); Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(i), Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(j), and Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(u)
  • Possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving any firearm in which the serial number has been removed, obliterated, or altered - Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(k)
  • Transferring or possessing a machinegun, Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(o).
  • Possession or discharge of a firearm in a school zone - Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A). 
  • Sale, delivery, or transfer of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile - Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(b) and Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(x)
  • Possession or use of a firearm in relation to or furtherance of any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime - Title 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)


Punishments for federal weapons crimes run both ends of the spectrum. They can vary from as little as 1 year in prison to life in prison for serious crimes and certain repeat offenses. Some of the most common prison sentences are 5 to 15 years. Additionally, prison sentences may come with a fine of up to $250,000. For a juvenile offender, the maximum sentence is ten years in prison if the offender had reason to believe the juvenile would commit a crime of violence with the gun or ammunition.

Utah Federal Weapons Crimes Resources

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) — The ATF is the federal DOJ agency that investigates and prevents federal offenses involving the unlawful use, manufacture, and possession of firearms and explosives. On this website, you can learn more about rules and regulations, Federal Register (the official journal of the United States government, containing government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices) actions, and recent rulings. You can also view a list of persons wanted by the ATF as the result of ATF criminal investigations.

Gun Mandatory Minimum Sentences — Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) “seeks to create a more fair and effective justice system that respects our American values of individual accountability and dignity while keeping communities safe.” . Learn more about sentencing reform and more on their website.

Find a Federal Weapons Crimes Lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT

If you believe you might be under investigation or you were already arrested for any federal weapons offense in Utah, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat represents individuals in Salt Lake County, Wasatch County, Davis County, Morgan County, Summit County, Tooele County, and Utah County.

Our Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible penalties. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (801) 532-5297 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.

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