Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian

(972) 369-0577

We Pick Up the Phone Every Time; Call 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

Transfer of a Firearm by a Firearms Dealer Without Observing the Waiting Period

The right to bear arms is woven into American law, culture, and history. However, with that right comes various responsibilities and regulations. One such regulation requires federally licensed firearms dealers to observe a specific waiting period before transferring a firearm to a buyer.

In Texas, as in many states, the waiting period is not explicitly mandated by state law. Rather it is required by federal regulations. As per the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, a national instant criminal background check system (NICS) is used to vet prospective gun buyers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is allowed three business days to perform a background check to determine if a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a firearm. A firearm cannot be transferred to a potential buyer before this three-day period ends.

A federally licensed firearms dealer in Texas could face stiff penalties if they sidestep this requirement and transfer a firearm without observing the waiting period. If you find yourself in this position, turn to the Collin County criminal defense lawyers at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian. We understand that your rights, freedom, and reputation are on the line. Our attorneys can give your case the personal attention it requires. We will develop a legal strategy to fight the charges against you aggressively. We have the knowledge and resources to protect your rights and achieve the best outcome. Call us at (972) 369-0577 or online for a confidential consultation.

What is a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?

A federal firearms license (FFL) allows companies and individuals to engage in business related to manufacturing, importing, and intrastate/interstate selling of firearms and ammunition. This system is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) within the U.S. Department of Justice. Several types of FFLs allow individuals and companies to participate in various activities related to manufacturing and selling firearms. For instance, firearms that require explosives, including cannons and artillery equipment, as well as armor-piercing bullets, are in a class that requires particular types of FFLs. Other dealers that may require FFLs include pawnbrokers, curio and relics dealers, and importers.

Federal dealers must run background checks and keep all sales-related records when selling firearms. On the other hand, private sellers of firearms in Texas are not required to run background checks or keep records of firearms sales under the Brady Act or any other law.

Federal Repercussions

A dealer with a federal firearms license (FFL) that fails to observe the waiting period will likely face federal penalties because the waiting period is a federal requirement. Penalties under the Brady Act for transferring a firearm without a completed background include the following:

Civil penalties – A dealer who violates the Brady Act could face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000 per violation. These penalties underscore the seriousness with which federal authorities view this regulation.

Reputational Damage

Finally, violating firearms laws can lead to significant reputational damage for a dealer. News of such violations can spread quickly, particularly in the age of social media. This negative publicity can lead to a loss of customer trust and potentially harm the dealer’s business in the long term.

How an Attorney Could Help

If you, as a federally licensed firearms dealer, find yourself facing legal consequences for the premature transfer of a firearm, it is crucial to retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney experienced in firearms law.

They could help you in several ways:

  • Understanding the complexities of the law – Federal and state firearms laws are often complex and challenging to navigate. A defense attorney can guide you through these intricate legal areas. They can help you understand the charges and penalties you may face.
  • Investigating the case against you – An experienced defense attorney will thoroughly investigate your case. They will review all pertinent details surrounding the alleged violation. They might find mitigating factors or evidence that could lead to a dismissal of charges.
  • Developing a solid defense strategy – Based on the specifics of your case and any available evidence, your defense attorney will formulate the best possible legal strategy. This might involve challenging the evidence. Arguing that your actions were not willful. Or asserting that you followed all necessary protocols.
  • Representing you in court – Should your case go to trial, a defense attorney will represent you and present your defense to the court. They will challenge the prosecution’s case against you using expert testimony, witness statements, and other compelling evidence.
  • Negotiating plea deals or reduced sentences – If the evidence against you is strong, your defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal on your behalf. This could result in reduced charges or a more lenient sentence than you might receive if convicted at trial.

Retaining a criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you are facing charges related to the transfer of firearms, it is in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable legal professional as soon as possible. Our law firm handles various cases in criminal defense and firearms law. We have extensive experience defending clients against serious charges and are committed to providing each client with the personalized attention and vigorous representation they deserve. If you need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation.

Contact Our Firearms and Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

While some may find the waiting period for firearm transfers cumbersome, it serves an essential purpose in our society. It helps to ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands. A licensed firearms dealer who ignores this requirement takes a serious risk. That includes potential federal penalties and reputational damage. If you are a federally licensed firearms dealer charged with violating the waiting period, you need a criminal defense attorney who can protect your freedom and livelihood. The lawyers at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian have the experience, knowledge, and resources to fight for your rights and interests. This is challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. Call us at (972) 369-0577 or contact us online to speak to a criminal defense attorney during a confidential consultation.

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : August 11, 2023