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Hinesville man pleads guilty to federal firearms charge
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A Hinesville man is one of nearly 20 defendants awaiting sentencing after pleading to federal firearms charges.

The cases were investigated as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods in collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI, to reduce violent crime with measures that include targeting convicted felons who illegally carry guns.

Donald D. Walker, 28, of Hinesville, pled guilty to False Statement During Attempted Purchase of a Firearm. Walker made a false statement about being under indictment when he signed forms required for buying a gun at a Hinesville gun store. Walker’s criminal history includes convictions for assault and family violence.

“In collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we are committed to the safety and security of our communities,” said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Removing guns from the hands of violent criminals and convicted felons makes all of us safer.”  

In the past four years, more than 830 defendants have been federally prosecuted in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses – most often for possessing a firearm after conviction for a previous felony. That charge carries a statutory penalty of up to 15 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.

Agencies investigating these cases include the ATF, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Savannah Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia State Patrol.

The cases are being prosecuted for the United States by the Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual to possess a firearm if he or she falls into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon; illegal alien; or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others. Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, also is a federal offense. 

For more information from the ATF on the lawful purchasing of firearms, see:

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