The president’s son has admitted to struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during the period, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Delaware.
He is charged with two counts of making false statements by checking a box falsely saying he was not a user of or addicted to drugs and of illegally possessing the gun as a drug user and a third count for possessing the gun as a drug user.
Two counts are punishable by up to 10 years in prison while the third carries up to five years in prison, upon conviction.
It is the first time that the child of a sitting president has been criminally prosecuted.
The indictment comes a day after Republican congressmen announced an impeachment inquiry into the Democratic president over unsubstantiated links to his son’s business dealings.
A gun possession charge against Hunter Biden, 53, had previously been part of a plea deal that also included guilty pleas to misdemeanor tax charges.
However, the deal imploded during a court hearing in July when a judge raised questions about its unusual provisions.
Hunter Biden has been the relentless focus of attacks by Republicans and leadership hopeful Donald Trump, who have accused him of wrongdoing relating to Ukraine and China, among other matters.
Republicans have claimed, without evidence, that President Biden profited while serving as vice president from 2009 to 2017 from his son’s foreign business ventures.
The White House dismissed the impeachment push as politically motivated, urging Mr McCarthy not to “cave to the extreme, far-right members who are threatening to shut down the Government unless they get a baseless, evidence-free impeachment of President Biden”
Republican leadership hopeful Donald Trump, who was twice impeached by the House but in both instances acquitted by the Senate, faces more serious charges in court. He has been indicted four times this year, including for trying to overturn the 2020 election that Mr Biden won.
Mr Biden is also seeking re-election next year.