Being charged with a crime can upend your life, and the consequences of charges associated with possessing illegal firearms can be significant. Due to unfamiliar terms and complex regulations, many people need clarification about owning and maintaining a weapon, depending on state and federal laws. This blog was published to provide you with some clarity surrounding these laws, and it also serves to outline the consequences of having an illegal firearm or modifying a weapon.
Florida’s Position on Illegal Firearms
Florida might be perceived as lenient regarding firearm regulations, but make no mistake: there are specific types of firearms that the state strictly prohibits.
- Short-barreled rifles (less than 16 inches in barrel length)
- Short-barreled shotguns (less than 18 inches in length)
- Machine guns or any fully automatic firearms
- Firearms that have been modified to discharge multiple shots with just one trigger pull.
- Weapons that have been altered to mask their identity or give the appearance of a different firearm.
Being found possessing any such weapon is a severe offense and could include more than a simple fine. Being caught with one of the weapons above may result in incarceration. These can be second-degree felonies, which equate to up to 15 years in prison and a fine that can stretch up to $10,000. Moreover, if the firearm was involved in the perpetration of another crime, the repercussions intensify.
Recognizing and Addressing Modified Weapons
Beyond illegal firearms lies the intricate domain of modified weapons, which Florida also addresses with stringent regulations. Some illicit modifications include:
- Equipping firearms with bump stocks or similar devices for rapid-fire capabilities.
- Erasing or altering firearm serial numbers.
- Disguising firearms to mimic everyday objects, such as pens or canes.
- Converting firearms to have fully automatic capabilities.
If you, for any reason, come in contact with any of these weapons or modifications, don’t touch it. It may be tempting if you study and appreciate firearms, and you may not intend to use the gun or harm anyone with it. Regardless, promptly inform the police. Ignorance of the weapon’s illegality won’t exclude them from potential charges if found in possession of one. However, certain defenses can be employed, like proving unawareness of the weapon’s illegal status, holding a valid permit, or establishing the firearm’s antique status. The best defense is never to put yourself in this position.
The risks associated with illegal firearm possession in Florida are monumental. It’s not just about potential prison time or a hefty fine but having a mark on your record. It could hinder future opportunities in employment, housing, or securing loans.
Protecting Your Rights
No one should navigate the intricate maze of Florida’s firearms laws alone. At Puglisi Caramés, our commitment goes beyond just legal representation. We’re here to ensure you and your loved ones understand every step of this complex journey. With a profound desire to help, we stand by those who often find themselves isolated by their community due to criminal charges. If you or someone you know is grappling with firearm-related charges in Florida, don’t wait. Let’s understand, address, and resolve your situation together. Schedule a free consultation with Puglisi Caramés today.