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Unlawful Firearm Purchase

Unlawful Purchase of Firearm in Michigan

Michigan laws allow law-abiding citizens who are 21 and older to buy pistols and some other firearms, as long as they meet specific qualifications and the firearms are legal. When people who are prohibited from possessing firearms try to illegally buy them—or when dealers break the law in selling firearms—serious felony charges can be filed. That means the accused can end up facing the real possibility of prison time and other serious penalties.

Understanding the ins and outs of Michigan laws regarding the legal purchase and sale of firearms is essential for any gun-carrying Michiganders, as well as those accused of violating those laws. So, the following shares important information about when it’s illegal to buy or sell a firearm in Michigan. A 5-star Lansing criminal defense attorney at O’Keefe Law can provide more answers and case-specific advice whenever you need it.

Illegal Purchase of a Firearm

When it comes to buying and selling guns in Michigan, whether or not the sale is legal comes down to these key questions:

  • Was the buyer legally allowed the purchase the weapon? Or was the buyer a prohibited individual?
  • Did the seller abide by all necessary laws? Or did the seller knowingly sell a legal firearm to a prohibited individual—or an illegal firearm to anyone?
  • Was the weapon involved in the case a lawful firearm or an illegal weapon?

Purchase of a Firearm by a Probihited Individual

Michigan laws bar the following individuals from buying firearms:

  • Minors: While there are circumstances under which minors can possess pistols in Michigan, those who are younger than 18 are not legally allowed to buy firearms. The charges in these cases will depend on whether the minor has a criminal record, whether other crimes (like forgery) are allegedly involved, and more.
  • Convicted felons: Those who have not yet had (or are unable to have) their gun rights restored can face new felony charges for purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm. This can include felons who have not yet satisfied all of the court-ordered penalties imposed as part of a prior case. It can also include those who have not yet waited the full 3 years (after satisfying all of the terms of a prior sentence).
  • Subjects of certain court orders: These prohibited individuals can include those who have been ordered to stay away from someone else as part of the terms of a protection order. It can also include people with bond orders barring the possession of firearms. In these cases, the prohibited individual could face multiple criminal charges for attempting to buy or buying a firearm while under these court orders.
  • Others: Those who have been committed involuntarily to a mental institution, as well as those dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forced, are also not legally allowed to own or buy firearms in Michigan.

In the case of adults (i.e., accused individuals who are at least 18), it doesn’t matter if the firearm is inoperable. If they are prohibited from possessing a gun, buying or having an inoperable firearm can still result in felony charges.

Purchase of an Illegal Firearm in Michigan

Buying or possessing an illegal weapon can also be grounds for felony charges in Michigan. Specifically, purchasing or attempting to purchase any of the following can result in class F or E felony charges. Upon conviction, they can be punishable by 4 or 5 years in prison (respectively) and/or $2,500 in fines.

  • Automatic weapons, machine guns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns: Possessing these weapons, converting legal weapons into these illegal weapons, and possessing components for those conversions can all be met with felony charges in Michigan.

  • Armor-piercing ammunition, mufflers, and silencers: In the case of this equipment that goes with a firearm, there is no need for a prohibited individual to possess a firearm, along with ammunition, mufflers, or silencers. Simply having the illegal device can be sufficient grounds for felony charges.

Felony charges for buying these weapons can also be brought when a licensed gun dealer sells an illegal weapon. In the case of gun deals, they would likely get their license revoked in addition to having the deal with the criminal charges.

Partner With an Experienced Lansing Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Will Fight to Protect & Help You: Contact O’Keefe Law

If you or someone you love has been accused of illegally buying or selling a weapon in Michigan, you strong, strategic defense representation if you’re serious about safeguarding your rights and your freedom. You need Lansing Criminal Defense Lawyer Patrick William O’Keefe.

Call 517-273-0421 or email O’Keefe Law for a free, confidential consultation and important advice about your defense options.

Here’s the truth:

  • Misdemeanor and felony weapons charges can have severe, lasting penalties.
  • When you’re in the defendant’s chair, you can only clear your name by winning in court.
  • Your attorney can be pivotal to the success of your defense and the resolution in your case.

If you contact just one attorney, you must contact board-certified Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe. We don’t just fight for shorter sentences. We aim for the best possible resolutions, including dismissals, acquittals, and the various alternatives to incarceration whenever possible.

Remember, it is never too early to hire the right attorney, but it could be too late.

Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe has years of trial experience, backed by practical knowledge and a relentless dedication to his clients. That’s why he’s known for providing honest advice, responsive service, and thoughtful support throughout a case. It’s also why:

  • He always prioritizes his clients’ cases, needs, and objectives from day one and well beyond the outcome of a criminal case.
  • He provides the defense representation he would demand if he were the accused.
  • He is exceptionally effective at challenging prosecutors in and out of court in the pursuit of the best possible outcomes.

The team at O’Keefe Law looks forward to helping you with a criminal case whenever you need it. Until then, explore our previous results and client testimonials to see why we are a 5-star criminal defense law firm in d Lansing, MI.

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