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Can altering my gun lead to federal criminal charges?

Gun ownership is a part of American life. However, with recent crackdowns on weapons crimes, many Californians may find themselves suddenly facing federal gun charges and the potential for serious, long-lasting penalties. Therefore, it is important for you to keep abreast of the law, and when you need legal help, ask for it.

Though many of us think of gun crimes as pertaining to guns themselves, the law is not so narrow. For example, if you knowingly possess or manufacture a silencer for a gun or any device that serves to muffle the sound of a firing gun, then you may be convicted of a federal gun crime. Depending upon the specifics of the case, an individual who is convicted of this crime could face between five and 10 years in prison, not to mention the criminal record that can haunt a federal convict.

There are other alterations to guns that could lead to federal charges. Sawing off a shotgun or rifle barrel and filing off serial numbers can lead to similar punishments, even if the gun is legally owned. Therefore, simply obeying the law when purchasing a firearm and firing it in a legally acceptable manner is not always enough. However, with such tight gun laws, you may wind up facing false accusations of criminal wrongdoing.

When this happens, it might be in your best interest to seek legal help. A California-based attorney experienced at handling federal weapons charges may be able to provide thorough information and sound advice, allowing you to act in a way that you feel is right for you.

Source: justice.gov, "Quick Reference to Federal Firearms Laws," accessed on Oct. 23, 2015

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