If you are found in unlawful possession of a deadly weapon in South Carolina, the court can charge you under state and federal laws. Both governments have their own ways of dealing with weapon charges. Here’s a look at federal penalties for weapons violations.
The Second Amendment and gun laws
According to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, people have the right to keep and bear arms, and the local, state and federal legislative bodies have authority in regulating those firearms. As much as you have the right, some situations or actions can lead to both state and federal weapons charges. The laws governing these crimes are in 18 U.S Code § 924 and 18 U.S Code § 922.
Federal weapons crimes and penalties
The law requires every person who sells a gun in any state to have a license, including a license for people selling to other states. There are also some firearms that you cannot sell, like machine guns, grenades, rockets and mines. Moreover, there is a limit to the number of guns you can transport between states.
Selling a gun without a license can lead to a five-year prison sentence. Selling prohibited firearms can result in 5-10 years in prison.
You should always keep, carry and use a gun that has a clear serial number. Don’t buy anything that appears to have an altered or removed serial number. Possessing, transporting or delivering such guns can lead to five years in prison.
People dishonorably discharged from the army, convicts, mentally ill persons, illegal immigrants, drug addicts and other fugitives have no right to possess a deadly weapon. The federal court can penalize you with up to 10 years in prison if you meet the criteria and are found in possession.
Carrying a firearm in any school zone has serious consequences. If it is a regular gun, you could face up to five years in prison after a conviction, but if it is a machine gun, the minimum sentence is 30 years.
It’s important to note that besides federal penalties, the state can also charge you for similar crimes. That means that penalties are harsher if the weapon charges violate both state and federal laws.