In Detroit and across Michigan, guns are a hot button issue with people seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights in the face of campaigns and fears about gun possession and ownership. Illegal guns are a growing concern and law enforcement is aggressive in its pursuit of gun crimes at the state and federal level. When there are allegations that a person is involved with possession, selling or buying illegal firearms, it is important to understand the potential penalties for a conviction and to be cognizant of the available strategies to craft a defense. This is especially true in the current climate.
ATF expresses concern over spike in gun violence
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is aggressively pursuing Detroit residents who are accused of being involved with illegal guns in an endeavor known as “Operation Relentless Pursuit.” It is using various tactics to track down those it believes to be taking part in these activities. That includes social media, informants and online information. In 2020, the Eastern District of Michigan had 189 firearms charges. Statistically, shootings in the area had increased by more than half when compared to the same time in 2020. Overall, crimes involving firearms have increased by more than one-quarter.
A case that the special agent in charge of the area specifically mentioned centered around a man who was a convicted felon and was still on probation as he sought to buy an illegal gun. The ATF noticed the alleged illegal firearms activity on a Facebook account linked to the girlfriend of a man who was selling the guns. The man on probation reached out about buying one for $850. The prospective purchaser’s home was raided and a gun was found. He was already on probation for larceny. He is now facing charges for weapons and was arrested.
Firearms charges should be met with a strong criminal defense
Weapons charges are undoubtedly serious and people should know the value of a strong defense. The penalties for a firearms conviction can be severe with jail time, fines and the disfavor in the community leading to problems with getting certain jobs or being admitted to schools. If evidence was accrued from online sources or informants, it could be called into question as part of the criminal defense. Before saying anything to make the situation worse or accepting a plea agreement without understanding the ramifications, it is imperative to have professional help. Consulting with experienced advocates can assist with assessing the case and determining an effective path forward.