Felon sent back to prison for ’zip’ gun, ammo

A Louisiana convicted felon was sentenced to 77 months in a federal prison for possession of ammunition of a “zip” gun, the Justice Department said.

Sidney Patterson, 45, of Bossier City, Louisiana, was sentenced on Wednesday in a Shreveport federal court and in addition to prison must serve three years of supervised release.

Deputies with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department found four zip guns along with three rounds of ammunition at Patterson’s house while investigating an incident on Jan. 9, 2015, in which a zip gun had been discharged at Patterson’s home and Patterson was wounded in the back.

Patterson pleaded guilty to the one count of felony possession of ammo on Oct. 1. Prior to this offense, Patterson had other felony drug convictions.

The Justice Department defines a “zip gun” as “an improvised firearm not manufactured by a firearms manufacturer or gunsmith, ranging in quality from crude weapons that are as much a danger to the user as the target, to high-quality arms.”

The DOJ said the investigation and prosecution was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative to reduce firearm crimes by preventing the possession and use of firearms by dangerous and persistent felons and others not authorized to possess a firearm and to promote firearm safety.