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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
Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Jacksonville Man Previously Convicted of Domestic Battery Indicted for Illegally Trying To Buy a Firearm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Peter Lawrence, 42, of Jacksonville, with making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during the attempted purchase of a firearm.

According to the indictment, Lawrence completed an ATF Form 4473 during the attempted purchase of a firearm from Cash America Pawn, a federally licensed firearms dealer. Lawrence indicated on the required paperwork that he was not previously convicted of a crime involving domestic violence. The indictment alleges that this was a false statement, and that Lawrence was previously convicted of domestic battery.

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 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 was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brenna Falzetta.

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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