What is an illegal weapon?

muzzle of a gun

Identifying an illegal weapon

Being arrested for anything is serious. Then add weapon charges to the arrest, how much more serious does it get? That is what we’re going to discuss here, answering common questions in a way that will provide some plain speak to the subject, starting with what are weapon charges

The general term of weapon charges refers to a wide range of charges involving weapons. Each state has their own statutes, most are sorted into the following two categories: 

  • Possession of specific weapons. A person can be arrested with weapon charges and convicted if they are in possession of a weapon considered to be illegal regardless of whether another person was injured, threatened, or didn’t see the  weapon.
  • Use during another crime. If a person used a weapon, or the weapon was visible,  while committing another crime, such as sexual assault would be upgraded to aggravated sexual assault. 

In the state of Florida illegal weapon charge applies if a person is in possession of a dangerous weapon, discharges a weapon at any school-sponsored activity or event; a felon that is in possession of a weapon; or giving a person of 16 years of age a weapon. 

What is an illegal weapon?

An illegal weapon in U.S., making it a federal law, and is outlined in the Gun Control Act who can own, manufacture, sell, or import firearms to be licensed dealers, importers, and manufacturers. The illegal weapons that can have a person arrested for weapon charges on a federal level are: 

  • Explosives and bombs
  • Machine guns
  • Illegal knives
  • Sawed-off shot guns
  • Stilettos
  • Switchblades

In the state of Florida, weapon charges can result from any person owning or to have in their possession, care, control of, or  custody of the following illegal weapon list with the exception of antique firearms: 

  • Short-barreled rifle
  • Short-barreled shotgun
  • Machine gun  

What is the penalty for having an illegal gun?

The United States of America’s constitution states we the people, have the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment protects this, however, in recent years, may states, like Florida, have passed laws overruling the Second Amendment. The citizens of these states, including many Floridians, have strong feelings and opinions about the issue of firearms possession. 

If a person is confused or uninformed of the Florida state laws regarding firearms, they could find themselves facing weapon charges for any of the following infractions: 

  • possession
  • purchased
  • use of a weapon

The immediate results of these types of weapon charges could be met with:

  • A fine.
  • Incarceration.
  • Weapon(s) confiscated.
  • Restriction of future weapon possessions.

Is possession of a deadly weapon a felony?

In Florida, there are two types of illegal weapon crimes: 1). Gun  2). Weapon Offenses/Enhancements. A weapon charges offense is based exclusively on the fact that accused improperly:

  • Possessed a weapon;
  • Purchased a weapon;
  • Use of a weapon.

A weapon enhancement can increase the penalties of a weapon charges or could require a mandatory minimum prison time if the weapon were used during a violent crime such as aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or in a robbery.

Florida’s most common weapon charges are:

  • unlicensed carry or concealed firearm;
  • improper display of a dangerous weapon;
  • dischargement or possession a weapon at a school-sponsored activity or event;
  • a convicted felon with possession0; and
  • allowing a person under the age of 16 access a loaded firearm.

Punishment for those weapon charges may be:

Possession of  a concealed firearm without a license is a third degree felony with punishments ranging: 

  • up to five years prison time;
  • up to five years of probation; 
  • and/or fines up to $5,000.

Weapon charges for carrying a concealed weapon are similar to carrying a firearm with the exception that the defendant is accused of carrying other weapon than a firearm such as chemical weapon, metallic knuckles, knives, tear gas gun, etc.

This weapon charges crime is a first degree misdemeanor that may be punished by:

  • One year jail time;
  • One year probation; 
  • and/or fines up to $1,000.

A person facing weapon charges for improper display of a dangerous weapon or firearm is for displaying in public a firearm or other dangerous weapon in an angry, careless, rude, or threatening manner with one or more people present. 

This weapon charges crime is a first  degree misdemeanor with punishments ranging as follows: 

  • up to one year jail time;
  • up to one year of probation; 
  • and/or fines up to $1,000.

A person faced with weapon charges for discharging or possessing a weapon at a school for displaying in a dangerous weapon or firearm in an angry, careless, rude, or threatening manner with one or more people present at any school-sponsored activity or event, or on school grounds. 

This weapon charges crime is a third degree felony and is punished by any of the following:

  • up to five years jail time;
  • up to five years of probation; 
  • and/or fines up to $5,000.

A convicted felon facing weapon charges for own, possession, or control of a firearm is an extremely serious offense with punishment ranging:

  • up to fifteen years prison time;
  • up to fifteen years of probation; 
  • and/or fines up to $10,000.
illegal knife

What are examples of weapons violations?

The illegal use of firearm laws in the state of Florida and any of the following are considered a violation, resulting in weapon charges: 

  • Unlawful discharge.
  • Unlawful possession.
  • Unlawful sale.
  • The use of a weapon while committing another crime.
  • Possession of a firearm or weapon while committing another crime.
  • A convicted felon possessing or using a firearm.

Anyone that is facing weapon charges of any level should consult a defense attorney that specializes in weapon charges. These are serious charges and can affect your future employment and life. Call (321) 631-2663 today for your weapons charge bail in Cocoa, FL.