High-Quality Legal Representation In Kentucky And Indiana

Defaced firearms can put you in danger

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Among U.S. states, Kentucky has some of the most relaxed gun laws in America. The state doesn’t require people to have a license to purchase and own guns, and open carry is legal for anyone at least 18 years old.

But even for a state that allows residents to carry firearms openly, there are some strict rules. In Kentucky, possessing a defaced firearm – a gun with serial numbers filed off – is illegal. It’s also illegal to purposefully deface a gun.

While you might not be purposefully defacing your firearms, you could find yourself unwittingly possessing one such gun. How much trouble are you in if the authorities catch you?

Coming across a defaced gun

There are several ways you might inadvertently come into the possession of a defaced gun, apart from illegally obtaining it from the black market (an act that’s already considered a crime). These situations include:

  • As an heirloom: You might inherit a firearm from a relative, and the gun happens to have its serial numbers filed off. The state considers antique firearms as ordinary guns for possession and carrying laws, so even a non-working replica lacking serial numbers can mean trouble.
  • As a gift: Similarly, a friend or relative who doesn’t know any better might gift you a firearm lacking serial numbers.
  • Through purchase: State law enforcement typically auctions any confiscated guns to licensed dealers, who could sell the weapons back to the public. While gun dealers are prohibited from selling you firearms that lack serial numbers, there’s still a risk that you could buy a gun that lacks critical identification numbers.
  • A refinished gun: If you send your gun to a gunsmith for refinishing and upkeep, the process might leave your firearm with its serial numbers filed off.

A defaced firearm is an illegal firearm under state law. If the authorities catch you with a serial number-less gun, you could face a class D felony with a five-year prison sentence.

If you are charged with possessing an illegal firearm – especially one you didn’t intend to own – you might want to hire a legal professional with experience in gun charges. An attorney can represent you in any legal proceedings involving your charge, guide you throughout the process, and protect your rights.