Charged With Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Louisiana?
Firearms. They are dangerous and not always legal to carry. You need to go out of your way to get a permit to have possession of a firearm, otherwise, there can be some very serious consequences.
In 2019, the rate of federal weapons prosecutions has increased by 126% compared to 20 years ago. This means that more and more people have illegal possession of firearms.
The laws and penalties for this vary by state and Louisiana is no exception. You may be wondering what the consequences are for illegal possession of a firearm in Louisiana?
Well, this is your guide for all of the information that you need to know on that subject.
Illegal Possession of a Firearm in Louisiana
In this state, this charge is defined as the intentional concealment of a dangerous weapon, ownership of a dangerous weapon by an enemy alien, or someone who uses a dangerous weapon at a school.
For this violation on a first offense, you face a fine of up to $500 and a maximum jail sentence of six months.
If you are using the weapon to commit a violent crime, then the penalties go up. Your fine can be up to $2,000 and you can face a jail sentence of at least one year. The maximum amount of time that you can go to jail in this situation is for two years.
Having a Firearm as a Felon
According to the Louisiana State Legislature, people that have been convicted of certain felonies do not have a legal right to even own a firearm. Some of these felonies include but are not limited to using a weapon for burglary, being in possession of a different weapon illegally, sex offense crimes, and more.
If you get caught with illegal possession of a firearm in Louisiana as a convicted felon, for at least five years. The maximum jail time that you can face in this situation is 20 years.
As for a fine, you will be charged at least $1,000 for this offense in this situation with the maximum fine being $5,000.
Also, if you have been ruled not guilty due to insanity for a previous case, then all of the above applies to you as well.
Prohibited Places and Penalties
As mentioned above, you are not allowed to have a firearm at a school regardless of if you have a permit or not. Schools in this situation can be defined as elementary school all the way up to a college campus.
Another example of a place where you cannot legally carry a firearm is at a public demonstration or parade. An example of this would be the annual Mardi Gras parade that takes place in New Orleans every year.
Then, the law can get tricky if you are carrying a gun in a bar or restaurant. You are technically allowed to carry one in a restaurant as long as you have a permit. However, if it is a bar that has a liquor license for on-site alcohol consumption, then you are not allowed to have a gun there.
The penalties for having a gun in these places vary depending on where you have the gun. For bars and schools, you could be looking at a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for having it in a bar. Schools can be a more severe penalty with you facing up to five years in jail.
With these locations, you need to keep your gun in a motor vehicle or have it at least 1,000 feet away from these physical locations.
Finally, you cannot bring it into someone else’s home without notifying them that you have a gun on you, regardless of if you have a permit for that gun or not.
When it comes to minors and firearms in Louisiana, anyone under 18 can carry a rifle or shotgun as long as they are using it within certain terms. For example, one of the main uses where minors are legally allowed to carry these weapons are for hunting purposes and/or if they have written permission to do so from their parents.
Another scenario in which minors can legally carry a firearm is if they are on private property with both parents giving them permission as well as whoever owns said property.
If a minor gets charged with possession of an illegal firearm, then they can face jail time ranging from 90 days all the way up to six months.
Drugs and Firearms
Where charges for illegal firearms really start to get serious is when you start mixing in possession of serious drugs with it. This would be on top of you using your weapon to help transport these illegal drugs.
One example of this is transporting 14 grams or less of marijuana while having an illegal firearm. You can be fined up to $10,000 plus are looking at at least five years in jail. The maximum amount of jail time that you can get in this situation is 10 years.
These penalties obviously increase if you are a repeat offender. With a second charge of this nature, you would be looking at being put in jail for at least 20 years and could face up to 30 years in jail without the possibility of parole.
Hire a Criminal Lawyer for Your Firearms Charge
If you are reading this, you or a loved one may be facing an illegal possession of a firearm in Louisiana charge. The situations may give you an idea of what you might be facing from that charge but to get an exact scenario and a strategy to minimize the damage, you need to get in touch with a lawyer.
If you are ready to get started, contact us today.