Kansas is relatively lenient with their firearm laws. That means that there are not too many restrictions on someone who is looking to exercise their second amendment right to carry a firearm. The law essentially states that as long as you’re 21 years old, you can purchase and conceal a firearm without a permit. So how can someone violate weapon charges for a state with gun laws like this? How do federal regulations match with state regulations? It can be difficult to know what the laws are regarding weapons since each state has their own basic firearm code, with some more in depth than others. This is especially true for someone who has previously been convicted of a crime and have served their debt to society.
What are Weapon Charges?
A person can be charged by authorities for violating restrictions on the manufacture, possession, or sale of prohibited or illegal firearms or weapons. What is a firearm violation?
Weapons Violation Definition A weapons violation is the violation of laws, restrictions, or ordinances in place to prevent criminal use or access to firearms or weapons. Failure to follow these can result in weapon charges. There are many items that can bring you a firearm violation simply for having them without the proper paperwork. If you’re caught in possession of an illegal weapon, you could face many federal firearm violations. But what are illegal weapons? While each state has individual firearms that may have restrictions in place, there are several firearms, firearm accessories, and other deadly weapons that are regulated by the federal government. Someone charged with violation of these weapon restrictions can face serious consequences. Here is a list of some weapons and accessories prohibited or regulated by federal law.
- Firearm Suppressors This firearm attachment is not banned, but requires thorough vetting to purchase. Sound suppressors, known by the slang term silencers, reduce the noise produced by firearms. If you purchase one of these without going through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), you face serious charges.
- Fully Automatic Weapons These are regulated thoroughly by the federal government. If you don’t go through the proper channels, or try to illegally modify your firearm to be fully automatic, you’re violating federal law and can be charged.
- Explosives If you try to create, store, or sell any kind of explosives without a license, you’re in violation of federal law. Consumer laws state that explosives for home use, like fireworks, can’t exceed a certain weight. Even if you are just making homemade firecrackers or cherry bombs, you can face weapon charges.
- Other Class 4 Weapons Aside from homemade explosives, there are plenty of other items classified as destructive devices that are limited by the National Firearms Act (NFA). Flamethrowers, missile launchers, grenade launchers, land mines. Anything that can be considered a major weapon of war almost guaranteed off limits to the normal consumer. Special exceptions can be made for collectors, but they will be heavily monitored by strict authorities, and probably pay a large fee. There are ways around this, as some companies sell novelty tool flamethrowers, but a good rule of thumb is to never try to manufacture something like this for yourself.
- Sale of Restricted Items The extensive process of buy automatic firearms or firearm suppressors is put in place to make sure they are heavily regulated. Each item contains a serial number that can be tracked by the ATF. If you try to sell something you obtained legally without the permission of the ATF, it becomes an illegal item that you are liable for.
- Unregistered Firearms Most people know there is not a national registry of firearm owners. Unless you file for special permissions to purchase prohibited items or class 3 firearms, there likely is not a list with your name and firearm serial numbers listed together. As such, you may find yourself asking “Is it illegal to have a gun without serial number?” Yes. The NFA of 1932 requires that all firearms purchased in the US have serial tracking numbers on them in the event that they are used for a crime. As soon as the serial number is removed, it becomes unlawful to own. Sale of this item can bring serious federal charges. If you sell a weapon with no serial number, you can be charged as an accomplice in whatever crimes are committed with it further down the road.
Violations and Restorations
How much jail time do you get for possession of a gun? Every violation of federal gun regulations or weapon charges carries different minimums and maximum sentences. Having a firearm in a school zone is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, while transferring a firearm to a minor can net you up to one year. Possessing class 3 firearms or firearm accessories can get you between five and 10 years, and that’s on top of any crime those items are used to commit. Punishments for a felon simply having a firearm can range from two to 10 years, depending on the circumstances. No matter what the violation, it’s fair to assume that if this isn’t your first encounter with the law, you will probably be denied cash bail.
There are other issues you may run into if you travel outside of the state. While Kansas does not require a permit for concealed carry of a firearm, many states do. If you were to travel to Texas, you would be committing a concealed weapons violation as Texas requires a permit for concealed carry of a pistol. A concealed weapons violation is not carrying a concealed firearm in compliance with state and local law. You may have to pay weapons licensing fees to be able to concealed carry, depending on the state. They have several kinds of licenses you can pay and apply for, including to become a licensed owner of class 3 firearms. Failure to procure required licenses before purchasing firearms will lead to weapon charges.
If you have been arrested for violating state firearm laws, it is possible to have the weapons charges dropped. If prosecutors believe they can’t convince a jury that you’re worth punishing, they may drop the charges and let you go. They also may not see a reason to prosecute you for something as minor as forgetting to unload and stow your pistol for a quick trip over the county or state line. The perceived severity of the weapon charges are what will make a difference.
If someone is a felon who wants to legally own a firearm, there is a process. Some states allow for felons to possess a firearm at their place of residence. Others allow for felons to apply to have their rights restored after a certain amount of time has passed after their release from prison. Because the primary concern with felon gun legislation is at the state level, it all depends on where you live. Do some research into the possibility of owning a firearm long before you ever actually get one. All responsible gun owners should learn the local, state, and federal gun legislation, or they run the risk of being charged with a weapons violation. If you or someone you know in Wichita, KS has been arrested on weapons charges and you need help bailing them out, contact Air Capital Bail Bonds at 316-755-5142.