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Can I Be Charged if I Didn’t Know My Weapon Was Stolen?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

September 2, 2022

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Some individuals may purchase firearms from others while unaware that the gun is technically stolen. Let’s discuss whether or not the unwitting party could face criminal charges for possessing the stolen weapon.

Reselling Stolen Items

Some individuals try to profit by stealing goods and reselling them online for far below retail value. Common items that are resold after being stolen are luxury and designer goods, cars, and firearms.

Possession of a stolen firearm is a criminal offense in Florida. You may wonder, can you face charges if you didn’t know your weapon was stolen?

Possession of a Stolen Firearm Charge in Florida

Possession of a stolen firearm can be a third-degree felony offense in Florida.

This offense is punishable by:

  • Up to five years in prison
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Up to five years of probation

In serious cases, the offense could be elevated to a second-degree felony.

However, if the person possessing the stolen firearm is unaware that the gun is stolen, they may not be held criminally responsible. However, they could face a misdemeanor charge if they should have been aware that the weapon was stolen based on obvious clues. For example, if the serial number had been removed from the gun. This reasonably should have raised red flags for the individual in possession.

If law enforcement does pursue misdemeanor charges against the individual, they face up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Florida Defense for Weapons Charges

Often, stolen goods change hands, leaving people unaware that they are in possession of a stolen item. If this happens to you in regards to a firearm, you could face unexpected criminal charges. Our team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is here for you if you are facing weapons charges in Fort Lauderdale. Reach us at (954) 840-8713 or click here to give us your contact information.