In 2014, there were nearly 1,000,000 guns sold in California. There are tens of millions of legally owned guns in California. But, even legally owned guns are subject to strict California laws. Every aspect of gun ownership is regulated in California—purchasing, owning, transporting, and using—it is all regulated in California. If you own guns in California, it is especially important to know and understand all the rules. The Department of Justice puts out a summary of firearms laws that is a good reference.
If you have been charged with a gun crime, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced with the entire body of California gun crimes. The laws can be confusing and contain many exceptions.
California Laws on Buying and Owning a Firearm:
- Convicted felons. Penal Code 29800 prohibits felons, people convicted of certain misdemeanors, and drug addicts from owning firearms. The California Attorney General providers this document which lists the misdemeanors that disqualify people from owning a firearm.
- There are also federal laws that prohibit felons and many other categories of people from owning or possessing firearms.
California Laws on Carrying a Firearm:
- These laws include how to transport a gun legally, when a person may carry a gun, and the concealed weapons laws.
California Laws on Using a Firearm:
- California has numerous laws regulating where you can legally shoot your firearms and when self-defense is appropriate.
California Firearm Sentencing Enhancements:
- California has severe enhancements for using a gun during the commission of a crime. For instance, Penal Code 12022.53 imposes a penalty of 10 years, 20, years, or 25-life for using a gun in a serious or violent felony.
- California has many other firearms enhancements, including Penal Code 12022 and 12022.5 which can add between 1 and 10 years to a sentence.
Determining which of these enhancements applies to a case may require a nuanced analysis and depends on the particular facts of the case.
If you or someone you know is facing charges related to firearms, get an experienced attorney to work for you. The Virga Law Firm has experience representing clients in all types of gun cases and will develop the most effective defense in your case.