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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Clay County Man With History of Domestic Violence Pleads Guilty to Firearm Charge

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Paul Steven Hulbert (27, Middleburg) has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of an unregistered National Firearms Act firearm (sawed-off shotgun). Hulbert faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. He made his initial appearance on November 18, 2022, and was ordered detained.

According to court documents and public records, in May 2021, a court in Clay County issued a “Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence with Minor Children” against Hulbert. The court extended the injunction until September 2022. The injunction specifically prohibited Hulbert from possessing firearms and directed him to surrender any firearms in his possession to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). In October 2021, Hulbert was convicted of the misdemeanor crime of domestic battery, in Clay County. After the domestic battery conviction and issuance of the domestic violence injunction, both of which prohibited him from possessing firearms, Hulbert obtained seven firearms that included rifles, pistols and a shotgun.

On May 16, 2022, members of the CCSO went to Hulbert’s home to serve an arrest warrant for violating the terms of the injunction. Upon arriving at the home, the CCSO arrested him and searched the house. They located four rifles, a revolver, a pistol and 12-guage shotgun. Follow up investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) determined that the 12-gauge shotgun was illegally modified, as both barrels had been sawed off. ATF determined that the 12-gauge shotgun was not registered to Hulbert in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

This case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Jacksonville Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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