Call Us Today - It's Free! Text Us
Text Us

The laws that govern the legal ownership of firearms in the State of California are among the most restrictive in the country. The California Penal Code specifically regulates the possession of a firearm in public as well as who may own a gun in general, and it provides harsh punishments for people who use a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Any allegations of a weapons-related crime may affect not just your freedom but also your ability to legally own a firearm in the future. An Oakland gun lawyer could work to defend your rights to own firearms and help you contest accusations of illegal firearm use. Whether your charges involve the illegal purchase or ownership of guns or concern the illegal use of a firearm, hiring an Oakland gun lawyer could provide essential protection both in and out of court. En Español

Prohibitions on Firearm Ownership in Oakland

While the United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, the California State Constitution has no such provision. As a result, California’s legislature has passed many laws restricting the ownership of firearms. According to California Penal Code §29800, the following people can never legally possess a firearm.

  • People convicted of a felony
  • Any person who is addicted to a narcotic drug
  • Any person with a misdemeanor conviction involving the use of a firearm

A conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm by any person who falls within one of these categories is always a felony. Potential punishments include up to a year in prison and the loss of all future rights to own a gun. An Oakland weapons lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

When is the Use of a Firearm in Oakland Illegal?

In order to carry a concealed firearm, Oakland residents must apply for a permit with local law enforcement. Unlike many other states, there is no presumption that a person will be able to obtain this license. Applicants must demonstrate a legitimate reason for needing the weapon and pass a certification course.

Similar provisions prohibit the carrying of any type of loaded firearm in a public place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm. Penalties for these infractions are usually misdemeanors but may be enhanced to felonies if the firearm is not properly registered with the proper authorities.

Allegations of Firearm Use as an Aggravating Factor

Allegations of using a firearm in the commission of a felony are typically very serious, since using a gun during a criminal act is often considered an aggravating factor that may make the potential sentences much harsher. For example, if a person uses a firearm during the commission of an assault, what is otherwise a misdemeanor becomes a felony offense.

In addition, California Penal Code §12022(b)(1) states that using a firearm during the commission of a felony automatically adds a mandatory one-year prison term onto the sentence handed down by the court. However, this does not apply if the underlying criminal charge already requires the prosecution to prove the presence of a deadly weapon, such as burglary with a deadly weapon.

How an Oakland Gun Attorney Could Help

While California’s gun laws do not make it very difficult to purchase a firearm, they do strictly limit how you may use that gun once you purchase it. This includes restricting the carrying of firearms in public and requiring a license to carry concealed.

Furthermore, any felony that is committed with the use of a firearm adds an extended sentence onto the core prison term dictated by the court. For this reason, it is essential that people be ready to defend their rights in court because weapon enhancements are serious allegations.

In the event you face charges for violating California’s gun laws, an Oakland weapons charges and gun crimes lawyer could provide essential protection. Attorneys represent clients in all forms of firearm charges, ranging from illegal possession to violent criminal offenses. Call today to schedule a consultation and see what options may be available to you.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

Contact Us

Give us a call or contact us online so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.

Schedule a Meeting

Schedule a meeting with our intake coordinator so we can determine the best plan to solve your legal problems.

Take Back Your Life

We work to resolve your legal problems so you can focus on what is most important



Why You Can Trust Us with Your Future

Our Criminal Defense Practice Areas

FAQs About Firearm & Weapons Charges

What is considered an illegal weapon in California?

In California, illegal firearms include:

  • Cane guns
  • Unconventional pistols
  • Short-barreled rifles and shotguns
  • Zip guns
  • Firearms not immediately recognizable as firearms
  • Undetectable firearms
  • Wallet guns
What are the penalties for illegal possession of a firearm in California?

The penalties for illegal firearm possession in California depend on various factors, such as the type of firearm, prior criminal history, and specific circumstances of the case.

In general:

  • Possession of an unregistered firearm is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of an assault weapon is a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (e.g., a convicted felon) is a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison.

Enhanced penalties may apply for repeat offenders or if the possession occurs in certain locations, such as schools or government buildings.

What should I do if I am facing weapons charges in California?

If you are facing weapons charges in California, it is crucial to take the following steps:

  1. Exercise your right to remain silent and avoid discussing your case with anyone except your attorney.
  2. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in weapons charges as soon as possible.
  3. Gather any relevant documents, evidence, or witness information that may help your defense.
  4. Follow your attorney’s advice and attend all court appearances as required.

Remember, an arrest is not a conviction, and you have the right to defend yourself against the charges.

Weapons charges in California are serious and can result in significant penalties. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case, challenge the evidence against you, and work to protect your rights and freedom.

Our videos

Going to Court?

See All Courts