Federal 922 Prohibited Person Firearm Possession

The right to bear arms in the United States is not an absolute right. There are certain state and federal firearms laws in place that regulate the possession of a firearm and prohibit certain groups of people from possessing firearms. In order to legally possess a firearm, you must be a law-abiding citizen that does not fall into one of these groups or categories under federal law.

As such, if you fall into one of these federal firearms law categories and are caught possessing firearms, you can be charged with a crime under state or federal law. If you are facing a federal prohibited person firearm possession charge, it is important that you speak with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Unlike state law, crimes under federal law are prosecuted and investigated by the United States federal government, which has an unlimited amount of resources to secure a conviction.

The conviction rates for federal felony charges are significantly higher than state charges, and without an experienced attorney, you could be looking at harsh penalties. At Cannon & Associates, our criminal lawyers are highly experienced with federal law and have helped many clients fight against federal firearms law cases. Our founder and managing attorney, John Cannon, has represented the state in federal law cases, so he understands the tactics they will use against you to secure a conviction.

With our significant trial and negotiation experience, we want to do everything we can to ensure that you are not convicted by a federal court and that your future is not ruined by a criminal record.

Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.

Federal Law on Possession of a Firearm

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides the fundamental right to bear firearms. This right to bear arms has been continuously challenged, particularly in recent years, however it has been upheld by numerous Supreme Court decisions, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the laws of most U.S. states.

Like most rights provided under the constitution, however, the right to bear arms is not completely absolute. There have been many federal firearms laws put in place that limit the fundamental rights of a person to possess firearms and ammunition, particularly the Gun Control Act of 1968, (GCA) commonly known as 18 U.S.C. § 922. This act controls most federal firearms laws that regulate who can possess and distribute firearms.

Under this act, there are certain groups and categories of people that are prohibited from possessing firearms and that prohibit gun distributors from selling firearms to them. If a person knowingly possesses a firearm while prohibited from doing so under the Gun Control Act, they can be charged with a crime under federal law. The law enforcement agency that enforces the GCA is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Federal 922 Prohibited Person Firearm Possession

Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, or 18 U.S.C. § 922, there are certain rules that prevent the sale to and possession of a firearm for ‘Prohibited Persons’. The list of prohibited people includes:

  • Convicted felon – If a person has been convicted of a felony, whether state or federal, with a sentence of more than one year, such person cannot legally possess firearms.
  • Drug users – If you are an unlawful user or are addicted to a controlled substance, you are prohibited from possessing firearms. A prosecutor may prove that you are a drug user by a positive drug test or recent drug possession convictions.
  • Mental defective or committed to a mental institution – The law prohibits those who have been committed to a mental institution, are mentally ill, or in some way mentally defective from legal possession of a firearm.
  • Fugitives – Those who have escaped criminal charges by moving to a different state or have escaped a prison sentence cannot possess a firearm.
  • Domestic violence – If you have received a court order for domestic violence, which can include stalking, harassing, or threatening to use physical force against a partner or child, or you have been convicted of the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you cannot possess a firearm.
  • Alien – If you have renounced your U.S. citizenship or do not have legal citizenship in the U.S. you cannot possess a firearm.
  • Discharged – Possession of a firearm is illegal if you have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military.

If you are found in actual or constructive possession of a firearm or ammunition while you are a member of one or more of the above groups then you can be charged with illegal possession of a firearm under federal law. Federal firearms laws are strict, and being convicted of a prohibited person firearm possession charge can have serious consequences. As such, it is important that you contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney if facing illegal possession charges.

Can I Legally Possess Firearms If I’ve Been Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime?

As provided for under 18 U.S.C. § 922, possession of a firearm is completely prohibited for a convicted felon that received a sentence for a crime punishable for more than one year. For many people in Oklahoma, this is a huge problem, as you may have been convicted of a felony charge a long time ago and feel like you have served your time for the crime. However, the law strictly states that if you possess a firearm or ammunition as a convicted felon you can be criminally charged under federal law.

When it comes to convictions for a misdemeanor crime, federal firearms law does not specifically prohibit possession of a firearm with a misdemeanor conviction. However, there are certain instances in which your misdemeanor crime conviction will prevent you from legally possessing a firearm in the future.

  • Domestic violence – If you received a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, you can no longer possess a firearm legally. The domestic violence conviction must involve the threat or use of physical force against a member of your family, which can include an intimate partner, child, or family member.
  • Drug possession – Federal firearms law prohibits those who are addicted to or engage in the unlawful use of illegal drugs from possessing firearms. If you have received any recent misdemeanor convictions for drug possession or drug-related charges, you can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm under federal law.

If you are unsure about whether you are legally permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition under federal law, you should seek legal advice from an experienced federal lawyer. Being convicted of a federal crime can have serious, long-lasting consequences. Although many people feel like being a convicted felon or receiving a previous criminal conviction should not limit your constitutional rights, federal law strictly prohibits it. You could be looking at serious time in prison and massive fines if convicted of a crime under federal firearms law.

Penalties For a Federal 922 Conviction

As noted above, being convicted of a crime under federal firearms law can have serious consequences. The Gun Control Act is enforced by the United States federal government, and the penalties for a federal felony conviction are typically much more severe than those for a state criminal conviction. If you are convicted of illegal possession of a firearm as a ‘Prohibited Person’, you could be faced with:

  • Up to 15 years in a United States federal prison, with an additional 3 years of probation or supervised release
  • A 5-year probation period
  • Fines of up to $1,000,000

In addition to the criminal penalties for a felony federal conviction, you will receive a permanent criminal federal record. Being a convicted felon can have serious consequences, and you may face difficulties down the line with finding employment, accessing education, applying for loans from financial institutions, and much more.

Defenses For Federal Firearms Law

For a federal prosecutor to prove a prohibited person firearm possession charge, they must demonstrate that you had actual or constructive possession of a firearm and that you are considered a ‘Prohibited Person’ under federal law. If they are unable to prove these two elements, then a judge and jury cannot convict you of the alleged crime.

As such, to fight against these charges, your lawyer must prove that you did not actually commit the crime you are accused of under federal law, which can involve disproving the prosecution’s belief that you meet these requirements. They may be able to successfully defend these charges with the following defenses:

  • You did not have constructive or actual possession – Your lawyer may argue that you did not actually or constructively possess the firearm because it was not knowingly in your possession, it was not your firearm, police officers conducted an illegal search of your property, or you did not have actual control of the firearm.
  • You are not a prohibited person – Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer may also argue that you are not actually a prohibited person under federal law. For example, if the prosecution tries to argue that your previous marijuana possession conviction prohibits you from possessing firearms, your lawyer may argue that you no longer use marijuana or you use it for medicinal purposes. Similarly, if they argue that you are a convicted felon, however, your sentence was less than one year, your lawyer may use this as a defense to get your case thrown out.

The only way to prevent a federal conviction or to minimize the penalties that you receive for a conviction is to have a strong criminal defense for the charges. Building a defense without knowledge of federal criminal law can be extremely difficult, which is why we recommend contacting an experienced federal defense lawyer.

A good federal defense attorney will listen to your situation, investigate the case, and build up a strong criminal defense based on the evidence and their knowledge of the law. This defense will then be used to negotiate a fair plea bargain on your behalf or get your charges thrown out completely.

Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

The federal law legal system differs substantially from the state criminal law system. Crimes under 18 U.S.C. § 922 and the federal law system are prosecuted by the United States Government, as opposed to local state agencies. Because of the severity of these crimes and the harsh punishments attached to a conviction, there is often a lot of effort and time put into a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Typically, bodies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have a significant amount of resources to secure a conviction against someone charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. As such, these investigative agencies will usually do everything in their power to ensure that you are convicted of a crime and they will use whatever tactics necessary and available. Without the backing of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, it can be extremely difficult to come up against charges under federal law.

A federal criminal defense attorney will use their knowledge and understanding of federal law to help ensure that you understand the severity of the charges you are facing. They will then negotiate with the prosecutor to arrange a plea bargain on your behalf. Most federal prosecutors want to avoid going to trial, which is why they will try to negotiate a plea bargain with the defendant. An experienced attorney who understands the law will be able to arrange a plea bargain that ensures you do not face serious consequences or gets your case thrown out completely.

In the event that you want to go to trial, your federal defense lawyer will build a strong criminal defense on your behalf and fight aggressively in court to ensure that you are not convicted by a jury of illegal possession of a firearm. The lawyers at Cannon & Associates have significant trial experience and have helped many clients fight against federal arms charges. We understand the complexities of federal law and we will do everything in our power to secure a favorable outcome for your case.

Contact Cannon & Associates Today

Federal firearms laws can often be quite confusing for citizens of Oklahoma. In many cases, people believe that they are legally entitled to possess a firearm because the United States Constitution guarantees them the right to do so. Many of our clients who were unaware of the law got charged by a law enforcement officer for possessing a firearm because of a previous drug possession conviction, or because they were previously committed to a mental institution for an illness they have recovered from.

However, it is important to be aware that being convicted of illegal possession of a firearm as a prohibited person can have serious, life-long consequences. If you are unsure about whether you are entitled to possess a firearm, or if you have been charged with a federal 922 firearm possession charge, you should contact a federal defense attorney as soon as possible.

At Cannon & Associates, our lawyers are ready to help you fight against federal criminal charges for illegal possession, and we want to be your Fierce Advocates at all stages of your case. Our lawyers have a deep understanding of federal rules and regulations, and we are highly skilled negotiators that know how to work the system. When facing such serious charges, it is vital that you have a strong lawyer to represent your case.

The lawyers at Cannon & Associates have what it takes to get the best possible outcome for your prohibited person federal firearm possession case.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.

Cannon & Associates

Fierce Advocates®

For Families and Freedom

Our Client Reviews

MORE 5-STAR REVIEWS REVIEWS THAN 99% of LAWYERS IN OKLAHOMA
Google Reviews

Quote Icon

"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."

- HOLLY ROSE

Quote Icon

"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."

- SHARON PINKARD

Quote Icon

"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."

- LEXI COYLE

Quote Icon

"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."

- ALAN MERRIMAN

Quote Icon

"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"

- MICHAEL RICKARD

Quote Icon

"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"

- ASHLEY

Quote Icon

"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."

- ATTORNEY COLLEAGUE

Quote Icon

"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."

- LAQUITA

Quote Icon

"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."

- TARA

Quote Icon

"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."

- DUDLEY

Quote Icon

"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."

- ZAVIEN

Quote Icon

"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."

- A FORMER CLIENT

Quote Icon

"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."

- CHRIS

Quote Icon

"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."

- CANDICE

Quote Icon

"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"

- TARA

Quote Icon

"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"

- DOMINIQUE

Quote Icon

"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"

- ANONYMOUS

Quote Icon

"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."

- S VANZANTE