A Las Vegas man was charged in federal court with illegally manufacturing and selling machine guns, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The defendant, a 35-year-old man, was formally charged with the following federal offices:

  • Dealing firearms without a license;
  • Illegal possession of a machine gun; and
  • Making a machine gun in violation of the National Firearms Act.

These charges are quite serious and carry significant penalties, if convicted. 

What Exactly is a “Machine Gun” Under Federal Law?

Federal law defines a machine gun as a weapon that is capable of shooting, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, more than one shot automatically without having to manually reload by a single function of the trigger. 

The term “machine gun” also includes the frame or receiver of this type of weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun. The term also includes any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled, if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person at the time of arrest.

There are strict regulations associated with the ownership and sale of machine guns. If you are interested in transferring a lawfully-owned machine gun in Nevada, the weapon must first be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”). You also have to obtain a permit from the ATF and obtain approval from ATF before transporting a machine gun across state lines.

Nevada Laws Less Restrictive for Gun Owners

The term “assault weapon” is not actually defined in the Nevada Code. There is also no express prohibition on the possession of any type of weapon by individuals who are legally entitled to possess a firearm under state law.

In stark contrast, federal laws place specific restrictions on the possession, sale, and transport of firearms. For example, according to 18 U.S. Code 922 (o), possession of machine guns is prohibited under federal law unless they were lawfully possessed and registered prior to May 19, 1986.

Federal Penalties for Violating Machine Gun Laws

Unlawful possession of a machine gun is a major federal crime. It is a felony offense and if you are convicted, you could be forced to serve up to ten years in federal prison and be ordered to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

The Las Vegas man facing multiple machine gun charges is being prosecuted by federal law enforcement officials. The federal government believes this individual was involved in illegally making machine-gun style firearms using a “jig” at his home, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

News reports indicate that Las Vegas police and ATF received a tip about this individual’s activiites and arranged for an undercover official to purchase guns from him. An undercover official met with the Las Vegas resident in the southeast valley and purchased two AR-15 style machine guns for $4,200, according to the filed criminal complaint.

During the sale, the Las Vegas resident reportedly said that the machine guns were “ghost guns” without serial numbers, and that he used M-16 machine gun parts to make the firearms. The Las Vegas resident reportedly sold three more AR-15 style machine guns for $6,000 to another undercover official in the southeast valley, according to the criminal complaint. There are also reports that the Las Vegas man admitted to officers that he manufactured the machine guns in his home.

Charged with Illegal Possession or Sale of a Firearm in Las Vegas? We Can Help.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a firearms offense, either by federal or state law enforcement officials, now is the time for action. You need to protect your rights and one of the best ways to do that is by securing top-notch legal representation.

At LV Criminal Defense, our team of experienced firearm defense lawyers will advocate for you and work tirelessly to get the charges reduced or thrown out of court.  To speak to an experienced defense attorney, contact our office today.