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Atlanta Weapon Violations Attorney

Georgia has several robust laws in place governing the possession, use, sale, and transfer of firearms. It is essential for everyone, not just gun owners, to understand the laws surrounding weapons violations in Georgia. Nonviolent offenses such as keeping a prohibited firearm or obtaining a firearm through illegitimate channels can lead to severe legal penalties. If a person uses a firearm in the course of committing another crime such as robbery or burglary, he or she will likely face harsher sentencing. If you need help after a weapons violation, discuss your case with an attorney at ChancoSchiffer, PC.

Federal law bans anyone who has received a felony conviction in the past from owning firearms in the future, and some state laws may also prohibit the possession or purchase of firearms after some offenses. Generally, any felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse will lead to such restrictions. While it is possible to restore lost firearms rights in some cases, this is rare and subject to intense scrutiny.

Unauthorized Possession

Federal law restricts the sale and ownership of certain types of weapons, including:

  • Explosives. This includes grenades, grenade launchers, rockets, rocket launchers, mines, and anti-personnel explosive traps.
  • Fully-automatic weapons. An “automatic” weapon is one that will continuously fire as the shooter holds down the trigger. Semi-automatic weapons that fire one round per trigger pull are generally legal to own, with some provisions.
  • Altered weapons. This includes sawed-off shotguns or any rifle with an altered barrel that changes the way the weapon operates.
  • Silenced weapons. Although silencers do not function in real life the way they do in movies, they are still illegal due to the fact that pinpointing silenced gunshots is more difficult than locating unsuppressed shots.
  • Gas-based weapons. It is illegal to own any weapons that deploy dangerous gases due to the danger they pose to the public.
  • Switchblade knives and knuckledusters. These are also known as brass knuckles.

Possessing any of these weapons in any capacity is illegal, although some exceptions for historical purposes and private collections can be made. However, these exemptions typically hinge on the owner rendering the weapon inoperable.

Use of a Weapon in the Course of a Crime

Some crimes like robbery, assault, and burglary will carry harsher penalties if an offender used a weapon in the course of committing a crime. An example of a misdemeanor is simple assault, punishable by up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fines. However, if the defendant used a deadly weapon, it will escalate the charge from simple assault to aggravated assault, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and increased fines. In the case of robbery, or the forcible stealing of another person’s property directly from the person, simple robbery is a felony punishable by a minimum of one year up to 20 years in prison. For aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, the penalty increases to a minimum of five years to 20 years in prison.

Georgia Carry Laws

Violating Georgia’s firearms carrying laws can also lead to criminal charges, even if it occurs unknowingly. Georgia is comparatively lax with firearms restrictions compared to other states, and the state has no requirements about purchase permits, registration, licensing, or carrying long rifles or shotguns. However, handgun owners must obtain a permit to carry a handgun. Before purchasing a firearm or taking a firearm you own anywhere in public, it’s vital to carefully review the state laws governing firearms to avoid any weapons-related criminal charges.

If you or a loved one are facing weapons charges in Georgia, the right attorney can help you avoid unjust punishments and protect your rights in court. The attorneys of ChancoSchiffer P.C. have vast experience with all types of criminal defense cases, so tell us your side of the story and we’ll tell you how we can help. Contact our Atlanta office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.