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Resources for Law Enforcement

The Law

Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms or ammunition by:

  • A person convicted of a felony
  • A person subject to a final protection order
  • A person convicted of domestic violence
  • An unlawful user of, or a person addicted to, a controlled substance1
  • A fugitive2 from justice, having fled a state
  • A person who has renounced his/her U.S. citizenship
  • A person adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution
  • A person dishonorably discharged from the armed services
  • An illegal alien

It is also illegal to:

  • Carry or use a firearm while selling drugs
  • Possess most short-barreled3 shotguns or rifles
  • Possess a firearm with an obliterated serial number
  • Possess a firearm, knowing it was stolen
  • Possess a handgun, if under the age of 184

1 Whenever suspects have illegal drugs and a firearm in their possession, ask them if they are selling the illegal drugs or if the drugs are for their own use. Most suspects will deny selling drugs, but will readily admit to using them. Both are federal violations.
2 A fugitive can either be a person fleeing to avoid criminal prosecution OR fleeing to avoid testifying in a criminal prosecution.
3 Minimum dimensions of a firearm:
Shotgun - 26" overall length, 18" barrel
Rifle - 26" overall length, 16" barrel
4 Except under certain circumstances prescribed by law.


Training Opportunities

Project Safe Neighborhoods representatives are holding regular training sessions for members of law enforcement agencies across the state about federal gun laws and other relevant law enforcement topics related to this initiative.

If you would like to schedule a training session for your law enforcement division or agency, please call the U.S. Attorney's Office at 503-727-1000

Updated July 7, 2016

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