Firearms has been a non-stop hot topic.  A firearm has been portrayed in the movies as symbol of power and many characters play god, deciding who gets to live.  Usually, it’s the bad guy.  While the Hollywood movies doesn’t translate to real life for many, unfortunately, some individuals, take it too far and use firearms as a tool to hurt others, breaking the laws along the way starting with obtaining firearms.  

While firearms are a necessity in a military and policing world, there is a lot of discussion as to why we need it among civilians.  Movies blur the lines as how we should be in a civil environment and many characters are ironically uncivil.  As discussions get heated, the definition of firearm and assault weapon gets the expected association. It’s important to be clear that a firearm can be one of the assault weapons.  However, assault weapon doesn’t have to be a firearm.  It can be an arm, leg, stick, car and any other object can be used to assaultanother. 

Assault: Assault weapon by itself as a term doesn’t even exist.  In federal criminal system, an assault is an attempt to hit another person or an act that causes someone to reasonably expect impending harm.  An assault does not even require a physical contact for which an attempt to contact is sufficient.  Absent a statutory definition of assault, the courts have looked to the common law and have concluded that an “assault” is:

“An attempt with force or violence to do a corporal injury to another; may consist of any act tending to such corporal injury, accompanied with such circumstances as denotes at the time an intention, coupled with present ability, of using actual violence against the person.” Guarro v. United States, 237 F.2d 578, 580 (D.C. Cir. 1956). But, of course, an assault can also be committed “merely by putting another in apprehension of harm whether or not the actor actually intends to inflict, or is capable of inflicting that harm.” Ladner v. United States, 358 U.S. 169, 177 (1958). 

In, a more recent case, U.S. vs. Lamott, the United States Supreme Court, defined assault as “(1) ‘a willful attempt to inflict injury upon the person of another,’ also known as ‘an attempt to commit battery,’ or (2) ‘a threat to inflict injury upon the person of another which, when coupled with an apparent present ability, causes a reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.’” Lewellyn, 481 F.3d at 697 (quoting United States v. Dupree, 544 F.2d 1050, 1051 (9th Cir. 1976)).

Firearm: Federal Code defines “firearm as “(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.” See, 18 U.S. Code § 921.

Many argue that we need a national firearms system that checks where a government can prohibit ineligible individuals from having one. A Nationals Firearm’s Registration already existsand NSA is tasked with applying the existing laws along with our IRS system. Under the National Firearm’s Registration, onecan be fined up to $10,000 per each offense and you also risk to spend time in prison for a considerable period of time or both. 

According to the NSA “It shall be unlawful for any person

(a) to engage in business as a manufacturer or importer of, or dealer in, firearms without having paid the special (occupational) tax required by section 5801 for his business or having registered as required by section 5802; or

(b) to receive or possess a firearm transferred to him in violation of the provisions of this chapter; or

(c) to receive or possess a firearm made in violation of the provisions of this chapter; or

(d) to receive or possess a firearm which is not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record; or

(e) to transfer a firearm in violation of the provisions of this chapter; or

(f) to make a firearm in violation of the provisions of this chapter; or

(g) to obliterate, remove, change, or alter the serial number or other identification of a firearm required by this chapter; or

(h) to receive or possess a firearm having the serial number or other identification required by this chapter obliterated, removed, changed, or altered; or obliterated, or

(i) to receive or possess a firearm which is not identified by a serial number as required by this chapter; or

(j) to transport, deliver, or receive any firearm in interstate commerce which has not been registered as required by this chapter; or

(k) to receive or possess a firearm which has been imported or brought into the United States in violation of section 5844; or

(I) to make, or cause the making of, a false entry on any application, return, or record required by this chapter, knowing such entry to be false. See, § 5861 Prohibited acts,

Penalties can be quite imposing: “Any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, or be imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”  You also risk your property being confiscated and disposed at the officials’ discretion. See, NSA’s penalties in the § 5871.

Now, you know!

If you want to apply for a firearms license, your application got denied or your license revoked, contact attorney Smirnova’s office to schedule a consultation.

Margarita Smirnova

Call: (617)398-7482

E-mail: margarita.smirnova@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post is for informational and educational use only and does not create attorney-client relationship.