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38 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1567 (2008)
Sentencing Factors and Intent: The Role of Mens Rea in a Federal Gun Statute

handle is hein.journals/shlr38 and id is 1575 raw text is: SENTENCING FACTORS AND INTENT:
Michaelj. Naporano*
Bob walks into a bank, raises his loaded 9mm Berretta pistol, and
demands cash. As Bob scoops up money from the counter, he mis-
handles his weapon and accidentally fires a round into the ceiling, in-
juring no one. Depending on where in the United States this inci-
dent occurs, Bob may have just added three additional years to his
prison sentence for discharging his firearm.
Section 924(c) (1) (A) of the Gun Control Act of 1968' is a fed-
eral gun control statute, which imposes mandatory minimum prison
sentences on those who commit certain crimes with firearms. The
statute begins by listing the elements of a complete crime in the fol-
lowing principle paragraph:
* J.D., 2008, Seton Hall University School of Law; B.A., 2001, Bucknell Univer-
sity. The author would like to thank Professor John Wefing for reviewing numerous
drafts and providing valuable insight.
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) (2000). Setting out the relevant portions of the stat-
ute in full:
Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise
provided by this subsection or by any other provision of law, 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 ad-
dition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug
trafficking crime-
(i) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5
(ii) if the firearm is brandished, be sentenced to a term of im-
prisonment of not less than 7 years; and
(iii) if the firearm is discharged, be sentenced to a term of im-
prisonment of not less than 10 years.


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