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Did Peter Fonda Commit a Federal Offense by Threatening President Obama?

Peter Fonda 640

Peter Fonda (AP)

While promoting a new documentary at the Cannes film festival in France last weekend, Peter Fonda made comments that could be construed as threats against President Obama.

“I’m training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles,” the actor told The Daily Telegraph at the international film festival. “For what purpose? Well, I’m not going to say the words 'Barack Obama,' but …”

With those words, the “Easy Rider” star may have committed a federal crime.

“Clearly, there is a federal law that prohibits threatening the president,” Washington, D.C.-based attorney Ross Nabatoff tells FOX411.com. “Now, the question is, is that a threat as opposed to him expressing his First Amendment rights? But you could conceivably construe that as a threat—he names the president. It’s a federal offense. He could be incarcerated.”

Fonda’s comments could attract the attention of the Secret Service, Nabatoff said.

“They take threats against the president pretty seriously these days,” explains Nabatoff. “There’s a lot of angry people.”

The Secret Service had no comment on the matter.

Fonda's attorney did not return a request for comment, and Fonda's representative was unable to reach the actor.

Back at Cannes, the actor wasn't finished.

“We are heading for a major conflict between the haves and the have nots," Fonda said. "I came here many years ago with a biker movie, and we stopped a war. Now, it’s about starting the world."

“There’s no room any more for a sissy and, like I said, don’t forget that I’ve got grandsons who I’ve trained with long-distance rifles," Fonda repeated. "We have to run like mofos to change this world.”

The fact that Fonda, 71, made his comments overseas could work in his favor should legal trouble ensue.

“The federal courts may not have jurisdiction in France,” Nabatoff said.

Fonda was in Cannes promoting "The Big Fix," a documentary about the BP Gulf oil spill, a movie critical of Obama's handling of the crisis.

Last week while promoting the film, Fonda said that he "sent an email to President Obama saying, 'You are a f***ing traitor,' using those words... 'You're a traitor, you allowed foreign boots on our soil telling our military -- in this case the Coast Guard -- what they can and could not do, and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do'."

Fonda is the son of Hollywood legend Henry Fonda and the brother of actress Jane Fonda.

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