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8.63 Firearms—Unlawful Receipt

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The defendant is charged in [Count _______ of] the indictment with receiving [a firearm] [ammunition] in violation of Section 922(g) of Title 18 of the United States Code. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, the defendant knowingly received [specify firearm] [specify ammunition] that had been [[shipped] [transported]] [[from one state to another] [between a foreign nation and the United States]]; and

Second, at the time the defendant received the [specify firearm] [specify ammunition], the defendant [specify applicable prohibited status from 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)-(9)].

If a person knowingly takes possession of [a firearm] [ammunition], [he] [she] has "received" it.


See Comment in 8.51 (Firearms).

18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)-(9) prohibits individuals falling into certain categories, such as fugitives from justice, from receiving, shipping or transporting firearms or ammunition. This instruction covers receipt; for shipment or transportation, see Instruction 8.64 (Firearms—Unlawful Shipment or Transportation).

The second element refers to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)-(9), which sets forth nine categories of individuals prohibited from receiving, shipping, transporting, or possessing firearms and ammunition. Those categories are: (1) individuals who have been convicted of a felony; (2) individuals who are fugitives from justice; (3) individuals who are unlawful users and addicts of controlled substances defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802; (4) individuals who have been adjudicated as mentally ill or who have been committed to a mental institution; (5) aliens without authorization to be in the United States, and (subject to certain exceptions set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 922(y)(2)) aliens lawfully in the United States but with non-immigrant visas; (6) individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces; (7) individuals who have renounced their citizenship; (8) individuals who are subject to certain restraining orders issued after the individual has been provided notice and opportunity to be heard and supported by a specific factual finding that the individual represents a credible threat to his or her intimate partner or child; and (9) individuals who have been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

For a definition of "fugitive from justice" as used in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(2), see Instruction 8.52 (Firearms—Fugitive From Justice Defined).

Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), to establish "knowingly" under the first element, the government need not prove the defendant’s knowledge of the law, only "that the defendant consciously possessed what he knew to be a firearm." United States v. Beasley, 346 F.3d 930, 934 (9th Cir.2003), cert. denied, 542 U.S. 921 (2004). Furthermore, the commission of the crime requires no "act" other than the knowing possession of a firearm or ammunition by someone not authorized to do so. Id.

For a definition of "possession," see Instruction 3.17 (Possession—Defined). Having possession for only a short period of time does not preclude conviction. United States v. Teemer, 394 F.3d 59, 63 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 544 U.S. 1009 (2005).