Hunter Biden will enter a not guilty plea to gun charges

US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, will plead not guilty to three criminal charges related to a gun purchase he made in 2018. Biden was indicted last week for possessing a gun while he was an illegal drug user and lying to buy it. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, confirmed the intended plea and asked for the initial court appearance to be held remotely.

The charges against Biden stem from October 2018, when he was struggling with a crack cocaine addiction after the loss of his brother Beau to brain cancer. He bought a Colt Cobra revolver, reportedly on a whim, in October 2018, about two months after completing another stint in rehab. However, he allegedly lied on the federal firearm application form that he was not using illegal drugs at the time, for which he now faces two felony counts punishable by up to 10 years each. A third count relates to his possession of the firearm while being a drug user and carries a maximum prison sentence of up to five years.

A plea deal reached between prosecutors and Biden's legal team on gun and tax charges collapsed after another judge raised objections, noting the agreement was "unusual." Under the terms of that deal, Biden would have been forced to admit to illegal possession of a firearm and agree to drug treatment and monitoring to avoid a felony charge and potential imprisonment. He would also have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts for failing to pay his taxes on time in 2017 and 2018.

Legal analysts have said that the basis of the gun charges against Biden may be subject to a constitutional challenge. Biden has no prior criminal record, had the weapon for fewer than two weeks, and never used it. Few people matching that profile face such charges, let alone prison time, say legal analysts.


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