Getting nabbed for illegally carrying a gun can change your life. So can any number of possible gun violations. After all, every state and local jurisdiction boasts a host of different firearm regulations. 

You may well have run afoul of a law that didn’t exist when you purchased your gun. You may be innocent. Regardless, the best way to get a positive result is by hiring a skilled attorney who specializes in firearm violations. So what’s the best way to find one?

Your Rights 

The Second Amendment is a promise. Part of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, it states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

For decades, arguments about the Amendment focused on its militia component –– suggesting that an individual’s rights to possess a firearm could be greatly restricted by local ordinances. The District of Columbia v. Heller changed that. The first Supreme Court decision to interpret the Amendment in almost 70 years ruled that the Amendment gives an individual the right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes. 

By striking down D.C.’s handgun ban, it led the way toward eliminating similar bans and even reducing restrictions for gun purchases and ownership. It did not eliminate local ordinances restricting how you carry or use a firearm. Of course, laws related to firearm theft remain unchanged. 

Part of our Constitution’s framework is to leave areas that don’t clearly concern the Federal government to the states. Today, many states have fairly lenient laws. Others, like California, are both strict and incredibly nuanced. Shooting your shotgun after shotgunning a six-pack can get you arrested. So can letting a friend carry a loaded firearm in your car. No matter what it’s worth, stealing a firearm in California can lead to a felony conviction. Besides potential prison time, this can affect future employment opportunities. 

Facing Firearms Charges

The truth is that fighting the charge can depend on innumerable variables. Was it a legal search? Did you actually have the legal right to possess the firearm and were inappropriately charged? If you brandished a weapon, were you acting in self-defense? 

If you have been arrested for a firearms violation, hiring a skilled attorney is vital. If you already have a lawyer for family or business purposes, they may be able to recommend a colleague. Friends and family might be able to help as well. So what do you do if there’s no one who can lead you to a skilled attorney willing to take your case? Chances are your first step is an online search. 

Law firms adept at search engine optimization (SEO) often come up in top results. This doesn’t mean they are qualified but it suggests they are sufficiently devoted to their speciality to spend the time and money to make them easy to find. Top-ranked firms also utilize Google My Business’s local listing service. A law firm GMB SEO ranking demonstrates their awareness of not only their area’s regulations, but also how individual judges and district attorneys handle firearm cases. 

Once you have developed a few leads, continue your research online by investigating any cases the firm handled. You can also use the American Bar Association’s lawyer referral directory.

Don’t be shy when you speak with prospective counsel. Find out their experience with your type of case. Ask about outcomes and your best options. They should be able to address your concerns. They may even outline a strategy. Firearms laws are ever changing. Their applications are often nuanced. That leaves you with numerous avenues to explore. Finding a well-qualified firearms lawyer is a vital first step.

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