What is a defaced firearm?
Defacing a firearm means altering, covering, removing, or destroying the manufacturer’s serial number that is printed on the weapon during production. A manufacturer’s Serial Number (MSN) is a unique identification number or code assigned to a unit and arranged in sequence. It can be a combination of letters, a letter, and numbers ending with digits. Serial numbers are deliberately added to deter counterfeit products. There is no typical serial number. For example, a Glock serial number is only five characters long, and a Browning serial number can range in length from eight to ten characters.
The serial number must be accompanied by the model name and the name of the manufacturer or importer and include information related to the date and location of the weapon’s manufacturing. Serial numbers are not issued by ATF.
Where to locate the manufacturer’s serial number?
The serial number can be found in many different locations. Typically, it is on the handle, slide, trigger guard, or receiver and stamped in metal, so it doesn’t wear easily. If a serial number is worn, look for it in a different place on the gun, as some are hidden.
A worn or filed-off serial number is a strong indicator of a stolen gun. For example, if a police officer finds a firearm at the scene of a crime, he will need to determine to whom the weapon belongs to and if the owner is connected to the crime. To do this, he can look up the owner’s information using the serial number.
Why would someone scrape the serial number off a gun?
The main reason behind a person removing a serial number on a gun is to try and prevent police from tracing the gun to previous locations or people – untraceable firearm. The serial number links the gun to the crime committed to obtain it. If that crime includes a shooting or a murder, then the holder of the gun may find themselves linked to that crime, whether they are guilty of it or not.
Why is it illegal to deface a firearm?
The serial number is a unique number law enforcement officers can use to identify the owner of the firearm. This number is used to determine if the firearm has been reported stolen. There are many different laws governing firearms. Most people know there are restrictions surrounding the purchase, sale, and use of firearms, but few are familiar with the crime of defacing a firearm.
The act of removing the Serial Number (SN) off of a firearm is a crime, and also a crime to be in possession of a defaced firearm, even if you were not the one who defaced it. The penalty for violating this section is a felony, which could lead to years of imprisonment and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The possession of a gun with an altered or missing serial number is a misdemeanor punishable with jail time and fine. You cannot be charged with a crime if the serial number has been affected by normal wear and tear.
Scientists have developed a technique to find serial numbers that have been filed off. Using a technique called electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), technology can bring back-to-life numbers that have been completely sanded away.
Check the search tool in the state where you purchased the gun. Some Law Enforcement agencies provide a free online search tool. The search tool will display information if that gun is reported stolen. You can conduct a search online for checking firearm serial numbers in your state or go directly to the police department.
Are replica guns legal in the US?
A replica firearm means a firearm that is an exact copy of a model of a firearm that is no longer commonly manufactured and any device that is designed to exactly resemble a firearm and is not itself a firearm. Any device, object, or facsimile made of plastic, wood, metal, or other material a person could perceive as an actual firearm but is incapable of being fired or discharged, except that the term shall not include any replica of an antique firearm. Each such replica firearm shall have as an integral part, permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of a replica firearm.
What are Criminal defense lawyers?
A lawyer specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity. Some are privately retained, while others are employed by various jurisdictions with criminal courts for appointment to represent indigent persons; called public defenders. Each jurisdiction may have different practices with various levels of input from state and federal laws.
In the United States, they deal with issues surrounding an arrest, criminal investigation, criminal charges, sentencing, appeals, and post-trial issues. Often an attorney will specialize in a niche within the criminal defense. They could work for local, state, or federal government and private law firms and have their own practice. The accused may hire a criminal defense lawyer to help with counsel and representation dealing with police or other investigators and present evidence that negates potential charges by the prosecutor. Criminal defense lawyers in the U.S. who are employed by governmental entities such as counties, state governments, and the federal government are referred to as public defenders or court-appointed attorneys.
Why is an experienced criminal defense attorney needed?
An experienced criminal defense attorney may get your charges reduced, penalties lessened, or your case dismissed due to errors. One of the first questions for individuals facing criminal charges is whether or not they should hire a criminal defense attorney. The downside is the costs and fees associated with hiring a lawyer. In many cases, the monetary fees of a criminal defense attorney are minimal compared to the life-altering costs that can result from not having the best possible defense.
“Avoid making a mistake that could land you in jail, or worse…”
Why is an experienced criminal defense attorney important?
- Understand the Judicial System – An experienced defense attorney understands how the judicial system works. The legal system can be confusing, but an experienced defense lawyer knows the intricate workings of the court system.
- Built Relationships with Prosecutors – They’ve worked in the legal field for long periods of time and developed relationships with counterparts—prosecuting attorneys. It may seem odd to develop a positive relationship with an adversary, both parties understand everyone has a better experience when people are familiar with each other. Having an attorney who has developed a good relationship with your prosecuting attorney can prove vital in the outcome of your case. Their relationship may allow negotiation for a better plea deal or an affordable bond and the best outcome for your case.
- Dealt with Cases Similar to Yours – Not all attorneys are the same; attorneys have different specialties. An experienced criminal defense attorney has dealt with cases relating to criminal charges, handled cases that may be identical to yours, and practiced criminal defense for most of their career.
- Protect Your Future – Experienced criminal defense attorney may get your charges reduced, penalties lessened, or your case dismissed due to errors. By reducing your charges, they can keep a felony off your criminal record and jeopardize your career, keep you from jail, help you avoid losing your job, and any negative impact a criminal conviction could have had on your life.
- Save You Money – It’s counterintuitive to think a more expensive lawyer will save you money, but history has shown additional money for an experienced criminal defense lawyer is worth it to receive the best possible sentencing for your case.
- Assess Law Enforcements Conduct – Good defense lawyers spend years learning the nuances of proper procedure, identifying blind spots and loopholes. They look at every possible means and examine aspects of the case to determine whether law enforcement acted within their limitations.
- Advise on the Possible Outcomes – Some criminal attorneys paint a bright picture of how they can help you and assure you nothing negative will happen in court. Then suddenly, you are convicted of a felony and facing jail time. The attorney assured you it wouldn’t happen, but it did because you trusted the system would work itself out, and your innocence would be proven. Experienced Criminal Attorneys let you know when it is in your best interest to take a plea deal from prosecutors or when to battle the criminal charges in court.