Stealing a firearm is different from other types of theft. If the police find a stolen firearm in your possession, you could face severe punishment. And not just at the state level.
While you have the right to own a weapon as an American citizen, you must obey the law. You cannot carry a firearm without a license. You also face a more severe penalty if you use a firearm while committing a crime
A firearms theft defined
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, thieves in the United States stole 959 firearms recently. A firearm includes any of the following:
- Machine gun
- Assault rifle
If you steal other types of merchandise that are not firearms, the court will look at the value of what you stole. Based on that estimation, the court will then determine your punishment. If the police arrest you for stealing a firearm, you will face federal charges.
Penalties for stealing a firearm
If you steal a firearm, the prosecutor will charge you with a second-degree felony. It does not matter how little the firearm was worth. If you are convicted or found guilty, you may have to pay a fine of up to $25,000. You could also spend up to ten years in prison.
It is a first-degree felony to steal firearms worth more than $500,000. In such cases, the court assumes you are selling illegal weapons. The penalties in these situations are more severe. You could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a fine of $25,000.
If you or a friend are ever suspected or investigated for stealing a firearm, it’s wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. They may be able to mount a strong defense on your behalf to get the charges reduced in severity or dismissed altogether.