White Supremacist Groups and Weapons Trafficking
It is not illegal to harbor beliefs that are repugnant to others, but being a member of a group predicated on such ideas can garner unwanted attention from law enforcement. After several recent skirmishes, several white supremacist groups have been the recipients of this kind of legal scrutiny – with serious charges such as weapons trafficking forthcoming. Many groups with fringe ideologies focus on their legal right to bear arms, which can sometimes lead to weapons trafficking charges. And this is exactly what has brought the matter into the public eye recently. Let’s take a closer look.
Smuggling vs. Trafficking
Smuggling weapons is illegal in the State of Texas, and it refers to knowingly participating in the transfer or transport of firearms that were purchased in violation of either federal or state gun laws. Participation in such a scheme for profit (or participation in such a scheme on multiple occasions) amounts to a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Weapons trafficking, on the other hand, relates to when weapons that are moving through a stream of lawful commerce are diverted into an illegal market, and this can happen in any number of ways.
The Major Players
Weapons trafficking typically revolves around unlawful participants, and they can include:
Gun Dealers – Most gun dealers are legitimate business people who adhere closely to the strict rules and regulations imposed upon them at the state and federal level. However, some use their close, working knowledge of these rules and regulations to buck the system and sell weapons off the books.
Unlicensed Sellers – To sell guns online, at gun shows, or anywhere else, federal law requires that sellers be licensed gun dealers, which allows the government to track gun purchases and ensure they are made by those who are legally eligible to do so.
Straw Purchasers – A straw purchaser is a purchaser who buys a weapon for someone else. Usually, the straw purchaser is legally eligible to make the purchase. The person he or she is purchasing the weapon for is either ineligible due to federal background check issues or does not want his or her name adjacent to the weapons purchase.
The Dark Web – The dark web is a platform for many illicit activities, including the illegal sale of weapons. Generally, these weapons are untraceable because they have had their manufacturer’s serial numbers removed.
Weapons trafficking is naturally a serious charge that has serious legal consequences.
Discuss Your Charges with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Charges related to weapons trafficking are too consequential not to have professional legal counsel on your side. Brett Pritchard, at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an accomplished criminal defense attorney whose work focuses on skillfully protecting the rights of clients like you. If you face a criminal charge, it is time to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for the professional legal guidance you need.