Skip to content

Jury begins deliberations in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial

4:57 p.m. ET, June 10, 2024

Hunter Biden’s legal fate is in the hands of the jury. Here’s a reminder of the 3 charges he faces

Hunter Biden and his wife Melissa Cohen Biden leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

A panel of 12 Delaware citizens is deliberating in the federal gun trial against Hunter Biden after both sides presented closing arguments.

This is the first time in American history that the child of the sitting president is going on trial. The indictment was brought by the Justice Department, specifically by David Weiss, the special counsel appointed last year to oversee the Hunter Biden probes.

Hunter Biden, 54, is accused of illegally purchasing and possessing a gun while abusing or being addicted to drugs, a violation of federal law. He pleaded not guilty to the three charges, though he has been open about his struggles with alcohol and crack cocaine addiction.
The first two charges in the three-count indictment are tied to the gun purchase itself.

When a person buys a gun, they must fill out a form with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and affirm that they are legally allowed to buy the weapon. Hunter Biden has been charged with lying on those forms.

These questions include: Have you been convicted of a felony? Are you a fugitive? Are you in the country unlawfully? And, importantly for this case, are you an “unlawful user of, or addicted to” illegal drugs? Hunter Biden allegedly checked the box that said, “No.”

Count 3 relates to the possession of the gun. It’s also against federal law to possess a gun if you are abusing drugs. Hunter Biden had the gun for 11 days in October 2018, before his girlfriend threw it in a dumpster because she was worried about his mental health, according to the indictment and texts made public in recent court filings.

“Guns present a danger if they get in the wrong hands, and that’s the impetus behind these laws,” Nabeel Kibria, a Washington, DC-based defense attorney who has handled hundreds of gun cases, told CNN. “The evidence seems pretty stacked against Hunter … but who determines who is an addict? What are the bright-line rules that must be followed?”

If convicted of al three counts, Hunter Biden could face up to 25 years in prison, though he likely will receive far less than the maximum as a first-time offender.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *