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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / What Is the Definition of Unlicensed Firearm Dealing in Florida?

What Is the Definition of Unlicensed Firearm Dealing in Florida?


Many Florida residents deal in firearms without realizing it. If you lack a proper license for these firearm transfers, serious legal penalties are possible. Even if you don’t see yourself as a “firearms dealer,” you may be classified as such under Florida law. It is very important to obtain proper licenses and follow appropriate laws if you plan to sell even a single firearm. In addition, it is critical to determine the status of the person you are selling firearms to, and whether they are legally allowed to possess firearms. As a recent case indicates, penalties for unlicensed dealing in firearms in Fort Lauderdale can lead to serious legal consequences.

Florida Woman Faces Over 100 Years in Prison for Unlicensed Firearm Dealing 

On December 4th of 2023, the Justice Department announced that a Florida woman was facing several decades in prison for dealing in firearms without a license, making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), and causing an FFL to maintain false records.

The count of “dealing in firearms without a license” is the most minor offense for this particular defendant, as it is associated with a maximum prison sentence of “only” five years. The most serious offense is making false statements to an FFL, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Causing an FFL to maintain false records is associated with a maximum sentence of five years. Except for the single count of unlicensed firearms dealing, this defendant pleaded guilty to seven counts of each of the other charges. This resulted in a potential prison sentence of well over 100 years.

In this case, it seems as though the defendant was involved in her boyfriend’s firearm-dealing enterprise, and this boyfriend has pleaded guilty to 25 counts of similar firearms offenses. Over the course of about 18 months, both defendants purchased a combined total of about 140 firearms. Although the girlfriend told the ATF that she was purchasing the guns for herself, she was purchasing them on behalf of third-party buyers. These third parties would provide her with payment, and she would hand over the guns “under the table” without ever recording the transfers.

Things became even worse for these defendants when the firearms that they had purchased (and resold) turned up at various crime scenes throughout the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada. Some of these crime scenes involved homicides.

This case indicates the serious legal risks associated with purchasing firearms on behalf of other people. Even if you are legally allowed to obtain firearms, purchasing them legally may lead to criminal charges if you subsequently provide them to others.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Weapons Offense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale 

If you are facing weapons offenses, it makes sense to seek legal representation from a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you did not intend to violate any firearms laws in Florida, you may still face serious consequences for these crimes. With help from Haber Blank, LLP, you can strive for positive outcomes and execute targeted defense strategies. Get in touch today to begin the legal process.




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