In 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced a new initiative of the Department of Justice (DOJ) aimed at reducing gun violence by better enforcing the existing background check system. Known as Project Guardian, the effort aimed to better coordinate federal and state gun cases and ensure that prosecutors updated existing databases that indicate when a particular individual cannot own a firearm because of mental health issues.
Project Guardian also required U.S. prosecutors to work with local and state law enforcement to consider whether federal charges should be brought when a person is arrested for an offense related to weapons possession, is suspected of being a gang member, or is believed to have used a firearm to commit a drug trafficking or violent offense. In addition, the initiative required agents in charge of ATF offices to review existing protocols or create new guidelines to bring federal criminal charges against individuals who lie in an effort to get a firearm from a dealer.
Firearm-Related Offenses Can Result in Significant Legal Consequences
Project Guardian resulted in more aggressive enforcement of state and federal laws regarding the possession of firearms and has the potential to result in the arrest of people who are completely within their rights. If you are facing weapons charges in Tennessee, it's vital that you understand that a conviction can have a significant impact on your rights and your future. Even relatively minor firearms offenses can result in severe legal penalties like substantial fines and jail time, and the existence of a firearms conviction on your record can make it difficult to get a job, go to school, or even rent an apartment.
Fortunately, in many cases, there are ways that an experienced attorney can help mitigate the consequences that you are facing. In fact, in some cases, a lawyer may even be able to get the case against you completely dropped. Some of the potential defenses available in firearms offense cases include the following:
- The search of your person, vehicle, or home that resulted in the discovery of a firearm was illegal
- You were legally authorized to possess the firearm in question
- You did not have actual or constructive possession of the firearm in question
If there are no defenses available in your case, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain arrangement with the prosecutor handling your case that avoids the most serious consequences associated with a conviction. For this reason, you should always retain an attorney after a firearms-related arrest, even if you do not think that you can raise a legal defense.
Speak with a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Lawyer
Do you need legal help with gun-related charges? The experienced Murfreesboro criminal defense team at Taylor Law Group is ready to help. We help our clients defend against all types of criminal charges, so please do not wait to contact us online or call 615-890-1982 for a consultation.