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[section] 3559(a), which treats a felony (in different grades) as a federal offense punishable by more than one year in prison, (36) and does not broadly define felony as including crimes classified by a state as felonies if they are punishable by no more than one year in prison when prosecuted in federal court.
The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 made it a federal offense "for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reason to believe, is a school zone." (13) A schoolboy's prosecution under this act prompted the Supreme Court's decision in United States v.
In the early 1990s, Senator Alfonse D'Amato began to champion the idea of making every crime committed with a gun that had crossed state lines a federal offense. (31) Because firearms are made in only a few locations and most are shipped across state lines, this proposal would have extended federal jurisdiction to nearly every one of the 900,000 gun offenses that occur each year in the United States.
Congress sets a boundary when it defines the elements of a federal offense. Federal prosecutors then select cases that arguably fall within the statutory language and prosecute them under the statute in question.
The federal government's authority with respect to federal offenses of general applicability, such as the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), (2) is rather straightforward.
The picture with respect to state and local offenses (as well as federal offenses, which are not generally applicable throughout the U.S.) is a bit more blurry.
This fourth category of crimes would include "speeding in the vicinity of an Indian school or in an obvious attempt to scatter Indians collected at a tribal gathering, and a breech (sic) of the peace that borders on an assault may in unusual circumstances be seen to constitute a Federal offense."
[24] This list now includes over 100 federal offenses, selected state offenses, and certain violations of foreign laws.
Special penalty enhancements represent another area that this component might include, particularly for federal offenses.
Although the Economic Espionage Act defines federal offenses, its significance is not limited to federal law enforcement agencies alone.
During fiscal year 1985, these sources allocated $68.3 million to aid victims of State and Federal offenses. The annual amount increased to $93 million in 1988, $144 million in 1990, and $150 million in 1991.

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