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Press Release

Birmingham Man Arrested for Possession of a Firearm While Subject to Protection From Abuse Order

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal indictment has been unsealed after a Birmingham man was arrested on Monday on gun charges, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Mickey French.

A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Antarius Lanay Mitchell, 23, with possession of a firearm by a person subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking, and threatening an intimate partner (known as a domestic violence protective order, Protection from Abuse order, or PFA) and providing a false statement on a federal firearm licensee record.

According to the indictment, in October 2021, Mitchell provided fraudulent information on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record, to the effect that he was not the subject of a PFA when, in fact, he was the subject of a PFA.  The PFA charge against Mitchell stems from his possession of a firearm, while subject to the terms of a PFA order issued by the Jefferson County Family Court on August 6, 2020. Under federal law, an individual who is subject to a PFA order is prohibited from possessing firearms.  As alleged in the indictment, Mitchell possessed a Steyr Arms 9mm pistol.

The maximum penalty for possession of a firearm while under a Protection from Abuse Order is 10 years in prison.

The maximum penalty for providing a false statement on federal firearm licensee records is 5 years in prison.

ATF investigated the case, along with the Homewood Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittney Plyler is prosecuting the case. 

This case is part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Operation Safe Families Initiative, which was launched in October 2020.  Operation Safe Families focuses on fighting domestic violence in the Northern District of Alabama. Annually, offenders with a history of domestic violence commit more than half of all homicides committed in Jefferson County. Through Operation Safe Families, the U.S. Attorney’s Office works with federal, state, and local law enforcement to use federal firearm laws to combat domestic violence.  Additionally, the Office works with partners in the community who are focused on prevention, education, and survivor support. Operation Safe Families is a partnership between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Birmingham Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, One Place Family Justice Center, YWCA, and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama.

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally-based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

An indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated June 1, 2022

Firearms Offenses