Exactly How Many Gun Laws Can Be Broken If You Are A Rapper?


Chris Brown can get away with breaking more gun laws than you can, if you haven’t figured that out already.

Earlier this week, singer Chris Brown was charged with felony assault after he allegedly pulled a gun on a beauty pageant winner. But folks, there’s another part of the story – and it centers around the fact that the singer has violated a number of federal gun laws.

You see, back in 2009, after Brown viciously beat his then-girlfriend Rhianna, he plead guilty to a felony charge. This makes for an interesting change in lifestyle for this rapper.

You see, under 18 USC 922(g)(1), it is illegal for Mr. Brown to even touch a firearm. Violating that law gets a person ten years in the federal hoosegow. Mr. Brown also is a regular user of marijuana, which triggers 18 USC 922(g)(3), which also nets a person ten years in the slammer. Receiving the guns are separate violations of those provisions – twenty more years for Chris.

Then there are sentencing enhancements for say, brandishing a firearm, which means that Mr. Brown gets to spend another 7 years behind bars, per 18 USC 924(c). Oh, and there’s no provision for parole or probation on the enhancement. This is a mandatory sentence.

Chris Brown (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Live Nation)
Chris Brown (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Live Nation)

We aren’t even considering who got Mr. Brown the gun, since a NICS check would have caught him. Was it a straw purchaser? If so, Mr. or Ms. Straw Purchaser (we’ll call him or her SP for short) is also in some steep trouble. Let’s look at SP’s rap sheet, starting with 18 USC 924(a)(1), making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer. That’s five years right there. Lying on the 4473 gets you ten. Giving the gun to a felon and drug user violates 18 USC 922(d)(1) and 18 USC 922(d)(3). Ten years for breaking each of those provisions. Thirty-five years for giving a felon and drug user a gun.

Was the gun stolen? In that case, Mr. Brown gets ten more years for violating 18 USC 922(j) for possession of a stolen firearm. Did he go through a NICS check using a phony ID? Well, that gets him the five years for lying to the dealer, and five more for using a fake ID, and twenty for purchasing the gun in violation of 18 USC 922(g)(1) and 18 USC 922(g)(3). The short version, if the federal gun laws were fully applied, Chris Brown would be looking at a minimum of 47 years behind bars in federal prison just for the firearm he pointed at that woman. Any other firearms he owns become separate counts for each provision.

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Now, the thought of Mr. Brown being marched to a cell that will be his residence for a long time is a nice one, but these laws are so rarely used, it’s probably just an idle fantasy. Too bad, Brown should get what he deserves. That being said, this also highlights another point. Current laws can, if used properly, take the bad guys out of circulation for a long time. Yet, they aren’t – and the same folks who ignore the non-enforcement of these laws demand new restrictions on our Second Amendment rights, like saying “we need to ban AR-15s.” No, enforce the laws, and no crook will want to touch a .38 revolver, much less a modern sporting rifle like the AR-15. Gun-grabbers won’t want to discuss how Brown got a gun despite California’s excessively strict gun laws, either.

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