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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, January 16, 2024

Convicted Felon Indicted for Illegally Attempting to Buy a Firearm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Jason Harris, 42, Palm Coast, with making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during the attempted purchase of a firearm. If convicted, Harris faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, Harris completed an ATF Form 4473 during the attempted purchase of a firearm from Southeastern Sports, a federally licensed firearms dealer. Harris indicated on the required paperwork that he was not a convicted felon. The indictment alleges that this was a false statement, and that Harris was previously convicted of multiple felonies, including robbery, shooting or throwing a deadly missile, felony battery and sale of cocaine. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Talbot.

This is another case uncovered through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). All NICS denials are reported to federal law enforcement and are reviewed daily for potential criminal prosecution. Federal law makes it a felony offense to make a false statement to a firearms dealer when trying to buy a gun.

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 of Justice 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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