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POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A FELON

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), the crime of Felon in Possession of a Firearm is committed when a convicted felon ships, transports, or possesses any firearm or ammunition that has been distributed in interstate or foreign commerce.

Definition of a Conviction

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20), the existence of a felony conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) is “determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held.”

Florida allows for a withheld adjudication in state court.  If you have received a withheld adjudication for a state crime, you are not deemed to have been convicted.  Under Florida law, a person who receives a withhold of adjudication of guilt is not considered to be a convicted felon. 

Penalties for Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Under federal law, the crime of Felon in Possession of a Firearm is a Class D felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and $250,000 in fines.

Under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, a person convicted of Felon in Possession of a Firearm would be assigned a base offense level between 12-26, which carries a guideline range of 10-78 months in prison before taking into account any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

As of 2017, the average sentence length for all section 922(g) offenders was 64 months.

Armed Career Criminals

The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), mandates a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for any person convicted of Felon in Possession of a Firearm if the person has three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses.