Why Was I Arrested for a Mistake on My Gun Application?

Posted On: May 6th, 2021 by Bradley J. Groene
Black gun resting on blank firearm registration form

The state of Ohio does not require a permit or license to purchase a gun. But that doesn’t mean there are no other criteria that need to be met.

If your ATF Form 4473 is not complete and inaccurate, you could have your application denied. But more than that, you could also be arrested and face harsh criminal penalties. Lying on a gun application is a criminal offense.

What Is ATF Form 4473?

ATF Form 4473 is your Firearms Transaction Record. You must fill out this six-page form when you want to purchase a firearm or get a concealed handgun license. This is required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives when you visit a Federal Firearms License holder.

If you were to purchase a firearm from a private person, you are not required to complete ATF Form 4473.

Confusion With ATF Form 4473

It is more common than you might think for a person to make a mistake on a gun application. Some of the questions on ATF Form 4473 can be difficult to understand.

ATF Form 4473 Questions

Some of the most confusing questions on ATF Form 4473 include:

  • “Have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony or any other crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?”
  • “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
  • “Have you ever been adjudicated as a mental defective OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?”
  • “Are you a fugitive from justice?”

Where Mistakes Can Be Made

These questions are more complex than they seem. For example, are you a fugitive if you don’t know that you have an arrest warrant against you?

Or do you say that you were committed to a mental institution even if you checked yourself into a facility voluntarily? What do you say if you have a medical marijuana card in Ohio?

Motives Behind Strict Penalties

It’s easy to see how it might be difficult to answer some of these questions. But when you make a mistake on your gun application, you shouldn’t be treated as a criminal. The increase in gun violence over the years has put law enforcement on high alert when it comes to lying on a gun application.

But this has also put an unnecessary spotlight on innocent people who made a mistake while exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Penalties for Gun Application Mistakes

You can face criminal charges when applying for the purchase of a gun or a concealed carry permit. For the state’s prosecuting attorney to obtain a conviction, they will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  • Knowingly made a false statement on your gun or permit application
  • Used fake documentation to obtain application approval

The details of your case will determine the severity of the charges you are facing. If you were charged with giving false information on your concealed carry application, you could be charged with a fourth-degree felony. This is punishable by a prison term of up to eighteen months and fines of as much as $5,000.

If you were charged with using false information on your gun application, you could be charged with a fifth-degree felony. This is punishable by up to twelve months in prison and fines of as much as $2,500.

Penalties for Convicted Felons

As a convicted felon, you can also expect to have your gun rights suspended and face other penalties such as:

  • Trouble finding safe, affordable housing
  • Difficulty finding gainful employment
  • Trouble with child custody or visitation
  • Suspension of professional licenses
  • Issues with immigration or citizenship

When you didn’t intend to make a mistake on your gun application, you shouldn’t be subjected to penalties this severe. Your weapons charge lawyer will show the court your lack of intent or present another convincing defense to help you get acquitted.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ohio

Have you been arrested after making a mistake on your gun application? You could be facing life-changing charges. You deserve an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer who can devote their time and energy to your case.

Choose Luftman, Heck & Associates to represent you at trial. Schedule a free, no-risk consultation when you call our office at (513) 338-1890. Or fill out our convenient contact form today so we can get started on your defense.