A revolver on display at the 2022 NRA Great American Outdoor Show
A revolver on display at the 2022 NRA Great American Outdoor Show / Stephen Gutowski

Hunter Biden Found Guilty of Gun Charges

The President’s son is a convicted felon.

A Delaware jury returned a unanimous verdict Tuesday morning in Hunter Biden’s gun trial after just a few hours of deliberation. Jurors found Biden guilty of lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on a federal background check form by saying he was not an unlawful drug user, and illegally possessing a revolver for 11 days in 2018. The convictions carry a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison, though he likely will receive far less than that as a first-time offender.

The guilty verdict comes as Hunter’s father is in the midst of a heated reelection campaign against former president Donald Trump. The elder Biden has seized upon his opponent’s own recent legal troubles as a line of attack, blasting him as a “convicted felon.” Now, his son shares the same label.

“I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” President Biden said in a statement after the verdict. “Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”

Biden said earlier this week he will not pardon his son.

The convictions could also complicate the President’s efforts to court gun-control advocates in the upcoming election. News of his son’s conviction for federal gun crimes broke the same day he is scheduled to speak at an Everytown for Gun Safety event to tout his work on “keeping guns out of dangerous hands.” He has also used executive actions to advance gun restrictions throughout his tenure in office and signaled his plans to make gun control a key strategy for turning out suburban swing voters this November.

Hunter Biden’s trial stems from his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver. Though he owned the gun for less than two weeks, he bought it during his then-ongoing battles with substance abuse. He described “smoking crack every 15 minutes” in 2018 in his memoir “Beautiful Things.” Federal law prohibits someone who “is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from purchasing or possessing a firearm, and the federal background check form 4473 specifically requires someone to attest that they do not fall into that category when buying a gun.

Hunter Biden’s “no” response on that form and subsequent publicity tour about his drug use drew heightened scrutiny from federal prosecutors last year. Special Counsel David Weiss investigated him and nearly secured a diversion agreement that would have allowed him to plead guilty to separate misdemeanor tax offenses and avoid prosecution in the gun case. However, that deal fell apart after facing scrutiny from Judge Maryellen Noreika, who questioned its unusual nature. Weiss ultimately indicted him last September.

Throughout his prosecution, lawyers for the younger Biden attempted to fight his charges by invoking the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court set a new legal standard for reviewing Second Amendment cases in last year’s New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision, one that has led multiple federal courts to strike down the charge Hunter Biden was convicted of as unconstitutional in certain circumstances. Though both Judge Noreika and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals foreclosed his challenges before a verdict could be reached, each left open the possibility of further examining his Second Amendment claims on appeal. That means the younger Biden still has an avenue for avoiding his convictions, albeit one that relies on using a Supreme Court ruling his father has slammed as “contradicting common sense.” 

Hunter Biden’s punishment will ultimately be in Judge Noreika’s hands. She has yet to schedule a sentencing hearing in the case but suggested one would likely occur in 120 days, according to CNN. That would place it sometime in mid-October, just weeks before election day.

Biden’s legal team has not yet announced a formal appeal.

Join For Sober, Serious Firearms Reporting & Analysis

Free Weekly Newsletter

Get the most important gun news

Reload Membership

$ 10 a Month
  • Weekly News & Analysis Newsletters
  • Access to Exclusive Posts
  • Early Access to the Podcast
  • Commenting Privileges
  • Exclusive Question & Answer Sessions

Reload Membership

$ 100 a Year
  • Two Months Free
  • Weekly News & Analysis Newsletter
  • Access to Exclusive Posts
  • Early Access to the Podcast
  • Commenting Privileges
  • Exclusive Question & Answer Sessions
Best Deal
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Comments From Reload Members

Leave a Reply


Get your copy of our FREE weekly newsletter!