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Firearms Arms Trafficking

Arms trafficking is a general term that describes a variety of crimes that may be brought in Federal and State court for illegally transferring firearms from one jurisdiction to another where one of the jurisdictions prohibits the particular type of weapon, weapon system, or equipment related to weapons; or, where one jurisdiction prohibits the importation of the weapons from a second jurisdiction.

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Federal Law, 18 USC §922 makes it a federal crime to engage in the business of manufacturing, importing or dealing in firearms without a license. In addition, Federal statutes that control the importation of arms and defense articles include: 22 USC 2778 – the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 18 USC 175 et seq – Prohibition With Respect to Biological Weapons, 18 USC 229 et seq – Chemical Weapons, 18 USC 831 et seq – Prohibited Transactions involving Nuclear Materials, 18 USC 841 et seq – Importation of, Manufacture, Distribution and Storage of Explosive Materials, 18 USC 921 et seq – the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 22 CFR 122.1 – International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 18 USC 2339 et seq – Providing Material Support to Terrorists, and other statutes.

New York State statutes that prohibit arms trafficking include Penal Law 265.10-14, 16-17 – statutes relating to Criminal Sale of a Firearm, and Penal Law 265.50 - Criminal manufacture, sale, or transport of an undetectable firearm, rifle or shotgun among other statutes.

Mr. Tilem, served as a prosecutor in the firearms trafficking unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and was actively engaged in the investigation and prosecution of firearms trafficking offenses before going into private practice and defending those accused of trafficking offenses.

Arms trafficking charges can incur extremely serious penalties up to and including life in prison. Conduct that can constitute arms trafficking may be confusing and hard to distinguish from lawful transactions. Criminalized conduct can range from importing firearms parts as innocuous as wooden gun stocks or weapon mounted scopes from a prohibited country to purchasing a firearm that is lawful in one state, modifying it with something as simple as a muzzle brake to reduce recoil, and taking it to a second state. For businesses engaged in international and domestic commerce in arms the thicket of regulations, laws, licenses, and permits can be maddening to deal with. For the average gun owner something as simple as making the wrong turn over a state line, or lending a firearm to the wrong friend can have extremely serious, potentially life altering consequences.

When doing lawful business in international arms, it is absolutely imperative that a federal firearms license holder obtains the appropriate permits from the Department of State and ATF to import or export any firearm or defense articles that are prohibited by ITAR, the Gun Control Act of 1968, or AECA. Dealing with governmental organizations like ATF and the Department of State can be frustrating and difficult to handle, particularly for a small business owner. Allow our experienced New York Criminal Attorneys to help you navigate the regulatory forest and engage in the sort of commerce that the Second Amendment intended. Call our experienced New York Criminal Attorneys today for a free consultation.

If you have been arrested for a violating any law that could potentially be construed as an arms trafficking charge remember, Securing experienced attorneys well versed in the federal and New York firearms law will be critical to mitigating the severity of the criminal charges brought against you. The government often targets those in the arms trade for political expedience. Many investigations into arms trafficking involve federal wiretaps, many of which may be unlawful and can be challenged in court. The FBI and ATF have also been known to prey on individuals with mental handicaps and encourage them to participate in schemes that the US Attorney’s office casts as arms trafficking charges. In fact, the ATF was active in its very own gun trafficking scheme, Operation Fast and Furious, where the ATF, FBI, and Department of Justice allowed firearms to be sold to Mexican criminals and brought south of the border. If you have been accused of arms trafficking, or are yourself involved in the firearms business our New York Criminal Attorneys for a free consultation to protect yourself from government abuses of power and serious criminal charges.

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