Oakland Gun Lawyer
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 gun-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 a skilled criminal attorney could provide essential protection both in and out of court.
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 gun 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 firearm concealed, 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 gun enhancements are serious allegations.
In the event you face charges for violating California’s gun laws, an Oakland gun lawyer could provide essential protection. Attorneys represent clients in all form 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.