Firearms and Weapons
Are you facing a firearms and weapons charge in California? Get in touch with a California firearms and weapons attorney who will work hard on your case.
While firearms are legal under the U.S. Constitution and California law, you must possess and use them in the proper way, or else you could risk losing them and face penalties. Additionally, while some objects are not inherently weapons, if you use them as such, you could be sentenced to time behind bars, among other consequences.
By learning about firearms and weapons laws in California, as well as reaching out to an experienced attorney, you can have the confidence knowing that someone is on your side when you’re dealing with a firearms and weapons charge.
What Are Firearms and Weapons Laws?
There are different laws in California surrounding firearms and weapons. The state has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country, so you need to follow strict protocol when purchasing one.
You must be 18 years old to buy a shotgun or rifle and 21 to buy a handgun. Every gun purchase has to go through a licensed dealer for a Dealer’s Record of Sale (DROS) process. You cannot import, own, or purchase assault weapons as well as machine guns fed with .50 caliber machine gun ammunition unless you got them prior to 1989. Open carry is illegal in all incorporated palaces in California, but you can get a concealed weapons permit if you go through the property avenues.
Offenses related to firearms and weapons in California include illegal sale of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
“I felt like i was in nightmare. Chris literally saved my life.” – Jesus L.
Proving You Committed a Crime With Firearms and Weapons
Since there is a wide range of laws regarding firearms and weapons in California, the prosecutor will have to prove different elements to show that you were indeed guilty of a crime. For firearms and weapons charges related to child endangerment, the prosecution will have to show that you were negligent when the child was put into harm’s way. For a concealed carry violation, the prosecutor will need to show that you knew the weapon was on you. For assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor needs to show that you did something using this weapon that would result in applying force and produce great bodily injury.
Penalties for Violating Firearms and Weapons Laws
When you commit a violent crime and use a firearm or weapon in the process, you could be subject to severe penalties. For instance, assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and you could go to county jail for up to one year for the former and pay a fine of up to $1,000, and go state prison for up to four years for the latter and pay a fine of up to $10,000. If there is a firearm involved, then the penalties will be much worse.
If you violate the law and carry a concealed weapon, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and have to go to jail for up to one year as well as pay up to $1,000 in fines. This can become a felony under certain circumstances, like if you were actively involved in a criminal street gang, the firearm was stolen and you knew it was stolen, or you had a conviction for a California firearm offense or a prior felony conviction. You would need to serve at least three years in county jail for a felony.
If you carry an unloaded handgun in public, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, and spend up to one year in county jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If you carry a loaded gun in public, the penalties would be the same.
You cannot possess a gun on or near school grounds, and if you do, you could go to jail for up to seven years. If you take a loaded firearm into government buildings like the State Capitol or a legislative office, you could get a misdemeanor or felony charge, resulting in up to one year in jail for the former and up to three years in jail for the latter. Additionally, if a gun is in reach of a child, you could be charged with child endangerment and get a misdemeanor or felony conviction, punishable by up to one year in jail for the former and up to two, four, or six years in state prison for the latter.
There are enhancements to felony offenses like rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping, and carjacking under the “Use a Gun and You’re Done” law that California has. If you use a gun, you could get 10 years added to your sentence, if you fire it, you could get 20 years, and if you seriously injure or kill someone with a gun, 25 years is added.
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Defending Yourself Against a Firearms and Weapons Charge
There are different defenses to firearms and weapons charges, with one of the most common being that you acted out of self-defense and were simply trying to protect yourself from harm if you used it during a violent exchange. If you were a victim of an illegal search and seizure, then that could be a defense as well. You may also not have known that there was a gun in your car, for instance, when it was discovered.
Contact California Firearms and Weapons Attorney CBS Law
Want to learn more about what CBS Law can do for you? Then contact us for your free 60-minute consultation by calling (213) 600-0972 or getting in touch on our website. CBS Law is here for you 24/7, and we’ll work hard on your case to ensure justice is served. We are looking forward to helping you with your firearms and weapons charges in California.
Do NOT speak to law enforcement or investigators about your firearms and weapons charges, as that information can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law