Feds crack down on illegal gun possession and sales

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) “Don’t even try.” That’s the warning from the Department of Justice for people who want to illegally buy a gun. 

So far, 97 firearm cases have been indicted in Utah in 2018. 

Twenty-five people were investigated in Salt Lake County in April. 

Six federal indictments were handed down last week.

“These are people who are out trying to buy firearms illegally. You know they’re not going to be using them in a legal way,” Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said Wednesday.

By law, convicted felons, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and fugitives cannot have a firearm.

“These are people who have proven poor judgment, dangerous decisions, have victimized us already who have no business having a firearm,” US Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber said. 

Federal charges could also come against a business that sells a firearm to a prohibited person, a person who buys a gun for someone else, or failing to keep proper records of firearm sales. 

The aggressive push to catch and prosecute illegal gun sales and possession comes from Washington DC, according to Huber. Federal and local agencies are partnering as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. 

While the federal firearm cases are coming in quickly, Huber warns it’s just the beginning.

“Something bad will happen when a convicted felon is in possession of a firearm. It’s inevitable. That’s why the law is there,” said Huber.

The punishment for illegally buying and selling firearms is up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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