In general, the law divides firearm offenses into two categories: carrying concealed firearms and using a firearm to commit a crime.
Carrying concealed firearms, in a state which prohibits it, is usually a misdemeanor, not punishable by a prison sentence. A unarmed robbery, even though a felony, is not as serious as using a firearm to commit the robbery.
The use or display of a firearm or other deadly weapon may elevate an offense to a more serious crime or increase the punishment. For example, an assault committed with a deadly weapon is a felony, while an unarmed assault is usually a misdemeanor.