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Robert A. Ciuffa, Attorney at Law
9306 Olive Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63132
Phone: 314-219-1906
Toll Free: 888-745-2635
Fax: 314-997-4324
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Guns and Firearms

I am a Life member of the National Rifle Association and regularly compete in local, regional and national high power rifle competition. I also compete in center fire pistol and black powder cartridge rifle competitions. I am also a certified Range Safety Officer and I have testified as a firearms expert in a murder trial.

I have a lengthy history and familiarity with firearms, their use, operation, design and manufacture. From this background, I can assure you that firearms present unique problems in the law.

To begin with consider that the firearm is the epitome of deadly force; they are considered as the definitive instruments of deadly force. Knives and clubs are virtually ignored.

The use of a gun to commit a theft raises the level of the offense and increases the prospect of lengthy incarceration. The law regards guns as adding the dimension of death or serious bodily injury to otherwise not so serious facts. There is an obvious irrational fear of firearms that pervades our entire society and the law reflects it.

Laws even govern who can have a firearm even though self-protection is a fundamental right correlative to the right of self-preservation. Folks with felony probations in their history cannot lawfully acquire a firearm under federal law. In fact, a felon cannot possess a firearm under penalty of a lengthy penitentiary sentence. Felon in Possession of a Firearm is a serious felony under both state and federal laws.

The use of a gun in the commission of another crime not only enhances punishment for that crime but may lead to the charge of "Armed Criminal Action". This relatively new crime carries penitentiary time from three (3) years to life imprisonment. The first three (3) years under this crime must be served without probation or parole.

Other little known "gun crimes" are in the federal laws with occasional parallels in the state system. Under federal law the falsification of the gun registration/transfer form 4473 can result in a charge that is similar to the crime of perjury even though the form is not executed under oath. Another unique federal crime is the underage acquisition/possession of a handgun; no one under 21 can lawfully acquire/possess a handgun.

Firearm dealers licensed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are constantly in peril for record-keeping violations. Certainly, the transfer of a handgun to a minor or the unwitting transfer of an illegal firearm can be very troublesome for the firearms dealer.

Likewise, the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) passed into law because of Bonnie and Clyde, has created a variety of technical non compliance crimes. The NFA covers the sale, transfer, and possession of machine guns and other typically military weapons. The NFA must be complied with before these weapons can enter the public's hands and scrutiny of these weapons is continuous. For example, the lawful owner of a lawful machine gun cannot remove the weapon to another state without prior permission from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Failure of compliance is enforced by criminal charge brought by the governments.

Another curious area in federal firearms law regards undocumented aliens and their possession of firearms. There cannot be a lawful transfer of a firearm to an undocumented alien. A resident alien, however, can lawfully acquire a firearm. And most recently the federal courts have struck down state laws preventing resident aliens from acquiring a concealed-carry permit.

If your legal issues are in this area, chose your lawyer carefully and seek one who is "weapon savvy".

Saint Louis attorney, Robert A. Ciuffa, represents people throughout the metropolitan St. Louis region, in communities such as: St. Francois County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, Madison County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Ballwin, Bel-Nor, Bel-Ridge, Bella Villa, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Bellerive Acres, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Breckenridge Hills, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Calverton Park, Charlack, Chesterfield, Clayton, Cool Valley, Country Club Hills, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Ferguson, Florissant, Frontenac, Glendale, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Ladue, Manchester, Maplewood, Marlborough, Maryland Heights, Normandy, Olivette, Overland Park, Pacific, Pine Lawn, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, St. George, St. John, Shrewsbury, Sunset Hills, Town and Country, University City, Uplands Park, Valley Park, Velda Village, Vinita Park, Warson Woods, Woodson Terrace, the City of St. Charles, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Wentzville, Leadington, Park Hills, Hillsboro, and Byrnes Mill.