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California has some of the most complex and restrictive gun laws, and some of the most severe penalties for those who violate them, in the United States. If you are charged with any type of gun law violation, a San Leandro gun lawyer may be able to help. A well-practiced attorney could explain how state statutes apply to your case, work with you to develop a strong defense, and represent your best interests through every step of your criminal proceedings. En Español.

Firearm Regulations Applicable to San Leandro

California does not have any language in its state constitution regarding the right of an individual to own and use firearms. The California Supreme Court has upheld several very restrictive gun laws simply because they were not in violation of the state’s constitution.

In order to purchase, own, or transfer a firearm in California, a person must be over the age of eighteen for rifles and shotguns or over the age of 21 for handguns. Individuals must have a current Firearm Safety Certificate. To obtain such a certificate, which could be valid for five years from the date of issuance, applicants must submit an application with the requisite $25 fee and then pass a written test monitored by a Department of Justice Certified Instructor.

Private sales of handguns must be done through a licensed dealer, and all handguns that are sold by dealers in California must be “California legal.” Only handguns that are listed on the state’s Roster Of Handguns Certified For Sale may be bought and sold in California.

California has also enacted a total ban on some types of firearms, which may include:

  • Semi-automatic firearms that the state has classified as assault weapons
  • 50 BMG caliber rifles
  • Cane guns
  • Short-barreled rifles and shotguns
  • Wallet guns
  • Zip guns

The state has also banned the sale of high-capacity magazines that could hold ten or more rounds of ammunition and the sale of any bullets that contain explosive agents.

Since some municipalities have also enacted their own local gun-related requirements and rules, it is quite possible for someone to be charged with violating a local gun ordinance even if he or she is in full compliance with all the applicable state gun laws. This may underscore the important role a gun lawyer in San Leandro could play in helping you understand any charges you may be facing for violations of local or state gun laws.

Potential Charges & Penalties a Defendant Could Face

Some of the most common gun-related charges in California may include:

  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a “Carry Permit” (California Penal Code §25400)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon or by someone with a history of drug addiction, mental illness and/or mental instability (CPC §29800)
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in public (CPC §25850)
  • Loaning firearms to other individuals (CPC §27880, as of 2017)
  • Improperly transporting a weapon in a vehicle (CPC §25140)

Depending on the specific facts and circumstances regarding the alleged violation, gun charges in California might often be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. In making such a determination, the factors that often come into consideration may include the type of weapon involved, what the defendant intended to do with the weapon, and whether the defendant has any prior criminal offenses. An attorney could help a person understand how the state could use these factors against them in a criminal case.

If the alleged violation is deemed to be a misdemeanor weapons charge, it may be punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If it is deemed to be a felony weapons charge, the punishment could include a fine of up to a $1,000 fine and a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison.

Being found guilty of or pleading guilty to any gun-related charge in California may have life-altering consequences. A criminal record may affect a person’s ability to obtain employment, practice certain professions, obtain credit and/or find a place to live. A San Leandro lawyer may be able to help you contest any gun charges to preserve your livelihood and best interests.

How A San Leandro Gun Attorney May Be Able to Help

If you were charged with any type of gun violation, you may be advised to consult a San Leandro gun lawyer who is well-versed in this area of the law. Doing so could help ensure that you are able to present an explanation or mitigating circumstances that may reduce the charges against you and/or the punishment that you receive. To learn more about your options, call today.

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