2001 Federal Sentencing Guideline Manual


§2K2.1. Unlawful Receipt, Possession, or Transportation of Firearms or Ammunition; Prohibited Transactions Involving Firearms or Ammunition

(a) Base Offense Level (Apply the Greatest):

(1) 26, if the offense involved a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30), and the defendant committed any part of the instant offense subsequent to sustaining at least two felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense;

(2) 24, if the defendant committed any part of the instant offense subsequent to sustaining at least two felony convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense;

(3) 22, if the offense involved a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30), and the defendant committed any part of the instant offense subsequent to sustaining one felony conviction of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense;

(4) 20, if --

(A)the defendant committed any part of the instant offense subsequent to sustaining one felony conviction of either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense; or

(B)the offense involved a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30); and the defendant (i) was a prohibited person at the time the defendant committed the instant offense; or (ii) is convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d);

(5)18, if the offense involved a firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) or 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30);

(6)14, if the defendant (A) was a prohibited person at the time the defendant committed the instant offense; or (B) is convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d);

(7)12, except as provided below; or

(8)6, if the defendant is convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(c), (e), (f), (m), (s), (t), or (x)(1).

(b)Specific Offense Characteristics

(1)If the offense involved three or more firearms, increase as follows:

Number of Firearms Increase in Level
(A) 3-7 add 2
(B) 8-24 add 4
(C) 25-99 add 6
(D) 100-199 add 8
(E) 200 or more add 10.

(2)If the defendant, other than a defendant subject to subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(5), possessed all ammunition and firearms solely for lawful sporting purposes or collection, and did not unlawfully discharge or otherwise unlawfully use such firearms or ammunition, decrease the offense level determined above to level 6.

(3)If the offense involved a destructive device, increase by 2 levels.

(4)If any firearm was stolen, or had an altered or obliterated serial number, increase by 2 levels.

Provided, that the cumulative offense level determined above shall not exceed level 29.

(5)If the defendant used or possessed any firearm or ammunition in connection with another felony offense; or possessed or transferred any firearm or ammunition with knowledge, intent, or reason to believe that it would be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense, increase by 4 levels. If the resulting offense level is less than level 18, increase to level 18.

(6)If a recordkeeping offense reflected an effort to conceal a substantive offense involving firearms or ammunition, increase to the offense level for the substantive offense.

(c)Cross Reference

(1)If the defendant used or possessed any firearm or ammunition in connection with the commission or attempted commission of another offense, or possessed or transferred a firearm or ammunition with knowledge or intent that it would be used or possessed in connection with another offense, apply --

(A)§2X1.1 (Attempt, Solicitation, or Conspiracy) in respect to that other offense, if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above; or

(B)if death resulted, the most analogous offense guideline from Chapter Two, Part A, Subpart 1 (Homicide), if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above.

Commentary

Statutory Provisions: 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)-(p), (r)-(w), (x)(1), 924(a), (b), (e)-(i), (k)-(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(a)-(l). For additional statutory provisions, see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Application Notes:

1. "Firearm" includes (i) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (ii) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (iii) any firearm muffler or silencer; or (iv) any destructive device. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3).

2. "Ammunition" includes ammunition or cartridge cases, primer, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm. See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(A).

3. A "firearm described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a)" includes: (i) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; or a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (ii) a machinegun; (iii) a silencer; (iv) a destructive device; and (v) certain unusual weapons defined in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(e) (that are not conventional, unaltered handguns, rifles, or shotguns). For a more detailed definition, refer to 26 U.S.C. § 5845.

A "firearm described in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(30)" (pertaining to semiautomatic assault weapons) does not include a weapon exempted under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 922(v)(3).

4. "Destructive device" is a type of firearm listed in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a), and includes any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas -- (i) bomb, (ii) grenade, (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (v) mine, or (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses; any type of weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; or any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device listed above. For a more detailed definition, refer to 26 U.S.C. § 5845(f).

5. For purposes of this guideline:

"Controlled substance offense" has the meaning given that term in §4B1.2(b) and Application Note 1 of the Commentary to §4B1.2 (Definitions of Terms Used in Section 4B1.1).

"Crime of violence" has the meaning given that term in §4B1.2(a) and Application Note 1 of the Commentary to §4B1.2.

"Felony conviction" means a prior adult federal or state conviction for an offense punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, regardless of whether such offense is specifically designated as a felony and regardless of the actual sentence imposed. A conviction for an offense committed at age eighteen years or older is an adult conviction. A conviction for an offense committed prior to age eighteen years is an adult conviction if it is classified as an adult conviction under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the defendant was convicted (e.g., a federal conviction for an offense committed prior to the defendant’s eighteenth birthday is an adult conviction if the defendant was expressly proceeded against as an adult).

6. For purposes of subsections (a)(4)(B) and (a)(6), "prohibited person" means any person described in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) or § 922(n).

7. "Felony offense," as used in subsection (b)(5), means any offense (federal, state, or local) punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, whether or not a criminal charge was brought, or conviction obtained.

8. Subsection (a)(7) includes the interstate transportation or interstate distribution of firearms, which is frequently committed in violation of state, local, or other federal law restricting the possession of firearms, or for some other underlying unlawful purpose. In the unusual case in which it is established that neither avoidance of state, local, or other federal firearms law, nor any other underlying unlawful purpose was involved, a reduction in the base offense level to no lower than level 6 may be warranted to reflect the less serious nature of the violation.

9. For purposes of calculating the number of firearms under subsection (b)(1), count only those firearms that were unlawfully sought to be obtained, unlawfully possessed, or unlawfully distributed, including any firearm that a defendant obtained or attempted to obtain by making a false statement to a licensed dealer.

10. Under subsection (b)(2), "lawful sporting purposes or collection" as determined by the surrounding circumstances, provides for a reduction to an offense level of 6. Relevant surrounding circumstances include the number and type of firearms, the amount and type of ammunition, the location and circumstances of possession and actual use, the nature of the defendant’s criminal history (e.g., prior convictions for offenses involving firearms), and the extent to which possession was restricted by local law. Note that where the base offense level is determined under subsections (a)(1) - (a)(5), subsection (b)(2) is not applicable.

11. A defendant whose offense involves a destructive device receives both the base offense level from the subsection applicable to a firearm listed in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a) (e.g., subsection (a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4)(B), or (a)(5)), and a two-level enhancement under subsection (b)(3). Such devices pose a considerably greater risk to the public welfare than other National Firearms Act weapons.

12.If the only offense to which §2K2.1 applies is 18 U.S.C. § 922(i), (j), or (u), or 18 U.S.C. § 924(l) or (m) (offenses involving a stolen firearm or stolen ammunition) and the base offense level is determined under subsection (a)(7), do not apply the adjustment in subsection (b)(4) unless the offense involved a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number. This is because the base offense level takes into account that the firearm or ammunition was stolen.

Similarly, if the offense to which §2K2.1 applies is 18 U.S.C. § 922(k) or 26 U.S.C. § 5861(g) or (h) (offenses involving an altered or obliterated serial number) and the base offense level is determined under subsection (a)(7), do not apply the adjustment in subsection (b)(4) unless the offense involved a stolen firearm or stolen ammunition. This is because the base offense level takes into account that the firearm had an altered or obliterated serial number.

13.Under subsection (b)(6), if a record-keeping offense was committed to conceal a substantive firearms or ammunition offense, the offense level is increased to the offense level for the substantive firearms or ammunition offense (e.g., if the defendant falsifies a record to conceal the sale of a firearm to a prohibited person, the offense level is increased to the offense level applicable to the sale of a firearm to a prohibited person).

14.Under subsection (c)(1), the offense level for the underlying offense (which may be a federal, state, or local offense) is to be determined under §2X1.1 (Attempt, Solicitation, or Conspiracy) or, if death results, under the most analogous guideline from Chapter Two, Part A, Subpart 1 (Homicide).

15.For purposes of applying subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), or (4)(A), use only those felony convictions that receive criminal history points under §4A1.1(a), (b), or (c). In addition, for purposes of applying subsection (a)(1) and (a)(2), use only those felony convictions that are counted separately under §4A1.1(a), (b), or (c). See §4A1.2(a)(2); §4A1.2, comment. (n.3).

Prior felony conviction(s) resulting in an increased base offense level under subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4)(A), (a)(4)(B), or (a)(6) are also counted for purposes of determining criminal history points pursuant to Chapter Four, Part A (Criminal History).

16.An upward departure may be warranted in any of the following circumstances: (1) the number of firearms substantially exceeded 200; (2) the offense involved multiple National Firearms Act weapons (e.g., machineguns, destructive devices), military type assault rifles, non-detectable ("plastic") firearms (defined at 18 U.S.C. § 922(p)); (3) the offense involved large quantities of armor-piercing ammunition (defined at 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(B)); or (4) the offense posed a substantial risk of death or bodily injury to multiple individuals.

17.A defendant who is subject to an enhanced sentence under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e) is an Armed Career Criminal. See §4B1.4.

18. As used in subsections (b)(5) and (c)(1), "another felony offense" and "another offense" refer to offenses other than explosives or firearms possession or trafficking offenses. However, where the defendant used or possessed a firearm or explosive to facilitate another firearms or explosives offense (e.g., the defendant used or possessed a firearm to protect the delivery of an unlawful shipment of explosives), an upward departure under §5K2.6 (Weapons and Dangerous Instrumentalities) may be warranted.

19. The enhancement under subsection (b)(4) for a stolen firearm or a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number applies whether or not the defendant knew or had reason to believe that the firearm was stolen or had an altered or obliterated serial number.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 189); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 333); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 374); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 471); November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 478); November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 522); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendments 568 and 575); November 1, 1998 (see Appendix C, amendments 578 and 586); November 1, 2000 (see Appendix C, amendment 605); November 1, 2001 (see Appendix C, amendments 629-631).