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An Overview of California Weapons Possession Charges

Okabe & Haushalter May 18, 2018 Weapons Charge

Many California residents own and use firearms. However, with the increase in concern about weapons regulations, you can expect that interest in firearms possessions charges may increase in Los Angeles. If you are charged with a weapons crime, you need a criminal defense attorney.

The Basics of California Weapons Charges

Weapons charges are usually felony offenses. Several laws apply to weapon possession in California. In fact, there are far too many potential charges to name them all here.

Many possessions charges will only apply under certain circumstances. Examples of California charges include:

  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in public
  • Use or possession of a gun in specific locations
  • Possessing prohibited assessors and ammunition

Most adults are allowed to own a gun without a license. However, there are many exceptions to this general rule.

Who Cannot Possess a Firearm in California?

Under California law, you cannot possess a firearm if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction
  • You are considered addicted to narcotics
  • You have two or more convictions under California laws regarding brandishing a weapon
  • You have been convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses
  • You suffer from a mental illness
  • You are a minor (under 18 years old)

If you cannot own a gun, then you also cannot own ammunition as well.

Keep in mind that to purchase a gun, you must also go through handgun safety training. You must be able to present your training certificate at the time you buy your firearm.

Laws Against Possessing or Carrying a Firearm

You can be convicted of a criminal offense if you:

  1. Carry or have an illegal firearm or
  2. You are illegally carrying an otherwise legal weapon.

For example, if you have been found guilty of a felony, you cannot carry a handgun. Even if could carry a gun, you are not allowed to possess, for example, an assault weapon.

Below are just two examples of possession charges that have several complicated requirements.

Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public

Having a loaded gun in public is a criminal offense. While you are allowed to have the weapon itself, you cannot have a loaded gun either on you or in your car or truck while in a public place. You can be charged with this type of offense even if the gun does not work. It is best to leave the ammunition in a separate container altogether.

Concealed Weapons Charges

Carrying a concealed weapon is also illegal in California. However, you can transport an unloaded gun in the trunk of your vehicle or in a locked container within the car. You can also carry the firearm to and from the car as long as it remains in a locked container while you move it one from one place to another.

Getting Help with a Weapons Possession Charge

All of the laws regarding gun possession can be very complicated. You may have violated the law without actually realizing it, in which case you have a valid legal defense to these charges.

If you have been charged with any weapons possession charge, you need competent legal counsel because the penalties can be severe. Call the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter to learn more about how we can help with a California weapons charge.