Using A Firearm In Furtherance Of A Federal Crime Of Violence

18 United States Code Section 924(c)

(c)(1)(A) Any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, uses or carries a firearm, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses a firearm, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug trafficking crime:

  1. Be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years

  2. If the firearm is brandished, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than seven years

  3. If the firearm is discharged, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not less than 10 years

(B) If the firearm possessed by the person convicted of a violation of this subsection:

  1. If the firearm is a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun, the person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years.
  2. If the firearm is a machine gun or a destructive device, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or a firearm muffler, the person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 30 years.

(C) In the case of a second or subsequent conviction under 924(c), the person shall:

  1. Be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not less than 25 years

  2. If the firearm involved is a machine gun or a destructive device, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

924(c) Analysis

Any conviction under Section 924(c) requires a sentence of incarceration consecutive to any other sentence imposed for another offense. Moreover, if there is more than one Section 924(c) conviction, the sentences for those counts must run consecutive to each other.

If a defendant is serving a state court sentence, a subsequently imposed Section 924(c) sentence must be served consecutively to the state sentence. A defendant may be sentenced pursuant to Section 924(c) if he or she aids and abets another person's firearm conduct.