Many citizens in California can legally possess or own guns, although they are subject to various California gun law restrictions. It also prohibits others from owning a gun due to multiple reasons. It is because they may be potentially dangerous and can harm others or pose a threat to others by carrying a gun. The Gun Laws in California regulate the sale, possession, and use of the firearms, and it requires that you obtain A Firearm Safety Certificate before legally acquiring a gun. The State of California, gun licensing requires that:
The gun holder is of good character
There is a good cause that led to the issuance of the gun
The gun applicant is a resident of the city in which they are applying
The applicant has completed a 16-24 hours course of training
The People Restricted By law From Owning a Gun
There are, though, some people who the law restricts from owning guns. They are:
Persons Who Are Narcotic Addicts
If you are a narcotic addict, it prohibits you from purchasing, owning, using, or having custody. The reason being, narcotic addicts are considered emotionally dependent on the drug and can, therefore, use their guns in the wrong way. The law also sees them as physically dependent due to withdrawal symptoms.
Persons Charged as Felony Convicts
If you have previous convictions as a felon, you have no right to possess or carry a California gun. If you have ever been sentenced for more than a month in a county jail or paid a fine, you will not own or carry a gun in California.
Anyone Below the Age of 18
According to California's law, those who are 21 years and above can legally possess guns. For those below 18 years, the law considers them minors and are therefore not allowed to purchase or possess them.
People with Previous Convictions of Misdemeanor Offenses
Misdemeanor convictions that will prohibit you from carrying or possessing a gun in California include:
Life-Time Bans to Gun Possession
Such bans come when you commit crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an occupied vehicle or inhabited house, and brandishing a gun and domestic convictions. Misdemeanor convicts are banned from possessing a gun at all times
Ten-Year Ban to Gun Possession
The crimes that prohibit you from possessing, purchasing, or owning a gun are assaults, stalking, criminal threats, battery, assaulting a police officer, and injuring a spouse. Other crimes that fall in the same category include; supplying a gun for participation in criminal acts, possessing a deadly weapon and assault with a gun.
Juveniles Prosecuted as Adults
When a juvenile court certifies you as an adult, your charges will be as those of adults when it comes to violating gun laws. The prosecutor will prosecute juveniles as adults if they are involved in the following crimes: Brandishing a gun, assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm at a dwelling place.
Anyone with a Mental Disorder
It is a requirement that you must relinquish your gun if you are convicted of crimes such as murder, poisoning, or assault. You are also not to hold any ammunition if the court prohibits you from owning a gun. The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney helps you defend your gun-related charges to retain your reputation and livelihood.
When is Possessing or Carrying a Gun Considered an Offense?
Remembering that California's gun possession laws do not work in your favor if you possess or carry an illegal gun. It is unlawful to carry a gun if the following conditions are right:
Carrying a concealed gun in the vehicle that you are in control
You were carrying your gun openly.
Causing a concealed gun to be carried in a car that you are traveling in
Gun Possessions in School Grounds
In California law, carrying or bringing a gun near or in the school ground is a crime. According to the California law, it is a crime to possess a firearm in the school ground, attempt to discharge or charge a gun in a school zone and bring or own a loaded weapon in schools.
Carrying a Loaded Gun in Public Buildings and Meeting Places
The law considers it a crime to carry or possess a gun in public buildings or meeting places. The restriction though does not apply to the personnel that transport guns, law enforcement officers, police officers, persons possessing a valid gun license, and persons in charge of security.
Gun Possession in Government Building
According to California law, it is a crime to bring a gun in the state capitol, legislative offices, or any hearing room. If you violate the rule, the offense is considered a felony or a misdemeanor, and the charges can be serving a jail term.
Carrying Loaded Guns in Public Transit Facilities
You will violate the gun laws if you carry or possess guns in buses, rail systems, transit systems, trains, and streetcars. Violation of the above restriction is considered a misdemeanor by the Californian laws, and you will be subject to the charges of a misdemeanor convict.
Gun Possession in Governor’s Mansion
It is a crime to bring a loaded gun in a governor resident or any other residence of the Governor, residence of any member of the legislature, or residence of any other constitutional officer. The offense is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor whose punishment is imprisonment in the county jail.
Laws on Using a Gun in California.
Using a gun illegally can attract severe penalties that may change your life. Some of the illegal ways you can use your gun include:
Brandishing a Gun in a Rude Manner
Brandishing refers to drawing and roughly using your gun, either to cause harm or for self-defense. Depending on the crime scene and the severity of injuries you have caused, the offense can be considered a felony or misdemeanor. The injuries found here are bone fractures, bruises, body organs impairment, loss of consciousness, and concussions.
Drive-by-shooting is discharging a firearm from your car. Whether you are in motion or not, it is considered a crime under the following conditions:
allowing a person to carry a loaded gun in the car that you are driving
You were willfully firing a gun at someone while you are in your
You are allowing someone else to carry a gun in the car that you own.
Assault with a Gun
It is a punishable crime in California to inflict injuries to anyone using your gun. It can be considered as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the offense that you have done. You may end up in prison for the crime
Penalties for Gun Offenses in California
Purchasing, receiving, owning, or using a gun in the wrong way has severe consequences, such as serving a jail term or prohibiting owning a gun.
Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
If you carry a concealed firearm, you are subject to punishments in different ways. Your charge will be treated as a felony if you had previous convictions, or if you have been denied rights to own a gun. It is also treated as a felony if you stole a gun or participated in a criminal street gang when police arrested you. The penalties for your charges as a felon are a jail sentence, a fine, or you can make a subject to both punishments.
If your convictions are committing a crime to a person or another person's property, its penalty is imprisonment, fine, or both. In addition to that, you will have to attend mandatory rehabilitation and educational programs during your stay in prison. If your charges are a misdemeanor, you will serve a jail term in the county jail, or the court may decide to give you a probation period.
Penalties for Carrying a Loaded Firearm.
The offense may be considered a felony or misdemeanor if you carry a loaded gun in public. You will serve a jail term and pay a fine or even face both penalties if you had a previous felony conviction, you stole a gun, you were a participant in a criminal street gang, or you had a weapon that does not legally belong to you.
Penalties for Carrying a Gun in Schools
The offense can be treated as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on your criminal history. The penalties for bringing a gun to schools are subject to a long-term jail sentence. Any other additional penalty will depend on the previous convictions that you have had, and if you did cause injuries using your gun.
You will be subject to felony or misdemeanor charges if you carry your gun openly in public. Depending on your criminal history, you will face a jail term whose period will depend on the extent of your offense, severity of injuries caused, and your previous convictions.
Penalties for Carrying a Gun in Airports and Passenger Terminals
Your penalties for committing the offense will be a fine and serving a jail term, where the period you will stay in the county jail will depend on your previous convictions and if you caused injuries to another person.
Penalties for Manufacturing and Possessing an Assault Weapon.
If the court finds you guilty of possessing and manufacturing assault weapons, you will be banned from manufacturing services, paying a fine, and serving a jail term. The charges will also depend on your criminal history, termed as a felony or misdemeanor.
Legal Defenses to Defend Your Charges on Gun Violation
You Had No Ability to Cause Harm to Anyone
If you did an assault with your gun, then the above defense can be the best to help you win the case. The reason being, "Assault with a gun" charges requires that you could inflict injuries to another person. The prosecutor can dismiss your charges if your attorney provides the facts and evidence that you had no physical or mental ability to harm another individual.
You Have a Permit to Carry a Gun
If you have a valid license or permit to carry a concealed gun with you, the prosecutors will likely dismiss the accusations. For dealers, the defense will help dismiss your case if only you have a license that proves that you are a licensed dealer.
You Had a Justifiable Reason to Own a Gun
The police can arrest you for having a gun while you were taking it to them. The police may have a reason to convict you because you were seen with a gun, but at the same time, you were doing a justifiable act. For example, you may be walking somewhere and come across a gun, you take it and deliver it to the nearest station. Your attorney will argue that you had no intention of purchasing or possessing a gun. You had a justifiable reason to have the gun at that moment, to hand into the safe custody of an enhancement agency.
Your Arresting Reason was Wrong
The police may pull you over for a different reason, say speeding, and searching your car, and they come across a gun. The police can use it as an excuse for the arrest. Your attorney will defend your case with the argument that the police did not arrest you for having a gun but for a different reason, and they had no probable cause to pull you over since they did not know that you had a gun.
The Allegations Held Against You Are False
An example of a case that may lead to false allegations is domestic violence. Your partner may want some form of revenge and look for any possible solution to come up with an accusation against you. Possessing a gun against the law can be one of many allegations against you. Your attorney will find all the facts and evidence to prove that you do not own a gun, and if you do, you have a valid license for it.
You Didn't Possess the Gun.
You may find yourself in a situation where there is a gun near you, and you are not the gun's legal owner. The police will arrest you and file charges against you. Such a case may happen when there is a photo of you and someone else posted on social media, and the photo has a picture of a gun in the background. In this case, it is evident that no one knows who owns the gum amongst you two, and your attorney can, therefore, argue that you did not possess the gun and that the other person held it.
The Gun Was Found During an Unwarranted Search
Before the police search for you or your property, they must have probable cause and your consent to do so in the California law. It is also a requirement that the need to have a valid California search warrant. Therefore, it means that, if the police find a gun during an illegal search, they cannot prove that you violated the gun laws. Your attorney will have an opportunity to defend your case because any gun found during an illegal search is considered inadmissible in court, according to California gun law.
You Carried a Gun in Self-Defense
California law allows one to possess a gun even if you are a felon convict for self-defense purposes. 'Carrying a concealed firearm" and "Assault with a gun" are the two types of gun offense that the defense can help. If you had a reason enough and proof that your life was in danger, your attorney could argue on that basis, and the defense becomes admissible in the court. Your attorney can also justify based on a restraining order, that you had the gun to cope with a threat from the person who the restraining order charges are held against you.
You Were Not Aware of the Presence of a Gun
A person can hide a gun in your bag without your knowledge. If the prosecutor found you innocent of carrying a concealed gun, and that it was not under your possession, the court will dismiss your case.
Such a case may happen when you and your friend have similar bags. Your friend, instead of putting the gun in his or her backpack. When the police summon you, they conclude that you indeed had a gun in your backpack and that you were aware of it. Your attorney can defend your case because it is evidence that the bags are similar and that you had no idea that it had a gun in it, and you, therefore, had no convictions for gun offenses.
You Possessed the Firearm for a Moment
It may happen that there was a situation that led to you having a gun for a moment. For example, you may pick a weapon that has been dropped by someone, and the gun landed near you. Your attorney will defend your case by arguing that you momentarily held the gun when he passed it over to the police or picking the weapon to go and get rid of it, and the court should, therefore, dismiss your case.
Restoring Your Rights to possess a gun
Hiring an experienced attorney may help you restore your rights to purchase, own, use, or have custody over a gun. The following are some of the ways that can help you restore your gun rights.
The expungement process allows you to withdraw a plea of no contest if you have fulfilled your probation period's requirements.
Expungement is useful since it is used to disclose your convictions to loan applications, potential employers, rental applications, or any other situation that may tell about your previous convictions. It also allows you to possess your gun rights if the court discharges you before your probation period ends.
Reducing Your Felony Charge to a Misdemeanor
Under the right circumstances, your felony convictions can be reduced to a misdemeanor, and you will have your right to possess a gun restored. If you wish to lessen your sentence, you can petition the court, but you need to give written notice to the prosecutor who convicted you of appearing at your hearing. At the hearing, you will have an opportunity for you and your attorney to petition for a reduction of your sentence if you have finished your probation.
Applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation
You can apply for a certificate of rehabilitation upon completing your sentence or after you finish your probation. Application for the document is treated as a pardon by the court and may be the basis of you restoring your rights to owning a gun.
Undergoing a Rehabilitation Process
Rehabilitation requires that you and your attorney petition for your gun rights if your job requires that you possess a gun. Your attorney can petition for your rights by requesting a reduction in your sentence, probation elimination. Your attorney may also persuade the court to do whatever it may deem necessary to regain your gun rights, even if it will have to impose conditions on you. For rehabilitation to go through, your previous convictions must be less than three times. You will be required to undergo counseling for the court to get convinced that you will use your gun safely and lawfully.
The process is useful, especially for the people who live out of the California state and wish that their conviction in California is relieved. A group of people who are subject to the Governors pardon is those who have previously committed misdemeanor offenses and sex crimes. The amnesty does not come easily, since you have to have fulfilled various regulations having a lawful behavior for at least ten years. It would be challenging to get the Governor's pardon if you have two or more convictions as a felon. It will be difficult for you to seek the same from the Supreme Court if you are denied the Governor’s pardon. The reason is that the Governor's pardon is exclusive to the Governor’s office, and no mechanism will compel the Governor to seek approval from the Supreme Court.
Find a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
Gun charges can have negative impacts on you and your life in general. Therefore, you need to consult an experienced attorney to defend your case and have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. If the police convict you for violating gun laws, contact The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to reduce or avoid gun offenses penalties. The attorney has vast experience with criminal statutes and has successfully defended cases such as yours, and the defendants have walked free. Reach us through 310-564-2605 for consultations and services required.