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Firearms and Weapons -

       Even a law-abiding citizen can violate one of the laws of California that deal with weapons. While you may not need a permit to purchase a handgun, all purchases must go through a licensed firearms dealer. Out of state people moving into California have 60 days to register their handguns. Some transfers are exempted.

Who Cannot Possess a Firearm

       It is unlawful for anyone convicted of a felony to own or possess any firearm. It is unlawful for a person with certain misdemeanor convictions involving force or violence (such as domestic violence) to own or possess any firearm for a period of 10 years after the conviction. Juveniles who are adjudicated for crimes of felonies or misdemeanors crimes of violence are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm until age 30. Federal restrictions can last for a lifetime with certain convictions.

Carrying a Loaded Rifle, Shotgun or Handgun

       It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle, shotgun or handgun in any public place. Exceptions would be on a target range, while hunting at a shooting club, or while at home or your place of business.

Carrying a Concealed Handgun

       Carrying concealed handguns requires a license. A handgun in your glove compartment or under the seat would be illegal. However, you can carry the handgun in your trunk or locked in a container. Most gun dealers can providethe approved container.

       Currently, rifles and shotguns do not require a permit for purchase nor do you need to register them or get a license to own one. For handguns, you do not need to obtain a permit, but all purchases are reported to the police for their recordkeeping. You don't need to be licensed to own a handgun but you do need a permit to carry one and you must register a handgun. If you move into California with a handgun, you have 60 days to register your handgun. These laws change frequently, so it is important to check with a lawyer to find out the current state of the law.

Involvement of a Firearm during a Crime

       Additionally, the involvement of a firearm during the commission of a felony can have significant impact on the sentence. For example, if a person uses a firearm during the course of a robbery, then the person will receive an additional 10 years to the prison sentence. If the person actually discharges the firearm, the enhancement jumps to 20 years.

- Written by , Attorney at Law




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