Defining Firearms in the State of California
California uses a broad definition of firearms. According to PC 16520, firearms are devices meant to be weapons with a barrel that expels projectiles using explosions or other kinds of combustion.
There are many examples of firearms. When people think of these weapons, they often imagine:
However, this is not a comprehensive list of firearms in California. Rockets and rocket launchers are also considered firearms in our state. Other devices that can propel projectiles are also considered firearms. In some cases, flares may also be classified as firearms by the state.
Exceptions to Firearm Classification
There are some items containing a barrel that expel projectiles and are not considered firearms. BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns are all outside of the firearm classification. That is because, unlike a revolver or a shotgun, these devices do not use combustion. Instead, the projectiles are expelled through the use of compressed air.
You cannot be charged with a firearm violation for using or possessing these guns. However, depending on the manner in which they are used, you could still face other charges, especially if you use these guns with the intent of causing harm to others.
Legal Rights Regarding Firearm Ownership in California
The U.S. Constitution gives individuals the right to keep and bear arms. Individuals living in California have this right as well. Many people are allowed to purchase firearms. Some people can even get a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
Permits are also necessary to sell or transfer ownership of a firearm. Selling guns without a license is a crime. Individuals can face charges under Penal Code 26500 if they sell firearms without a permit. Additionally, it is against the law to buy or sell certain automatic weapons.
Additionally, not everyone is allowed to own firearms in California. Convicted felons often have their gun ownership rights revoked. They are not allowed to purchase new firearms either. Misdemeanor violent crime charges can also lead to restrictions on gun ownership. Our law firm can answer your questions about gun ownership laws in California.
Criminal Charges Associated With Firearms in California
There are many criminal offenses associated with firearm usage in California. These charges often lead to major penalties. For example, individuals can face fines and jail time if they are convicted of a gun crime. Some examples of these charges include:
- California Penal Code Section 25400: Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- California Penal Code Section 25850: Carrying a Loaded Firearm
- California Penal Code Section 26350: Openly Carrying an Unloaded Handgun
- California Penal Code Section 29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Firearms are often used in association with other crimes. For example, the use of one of these weapons could lead to charges for battery or even murder. These charges are treated as serious felonies. Individuals convicted of murder can face life in prison or the death penalty.
Individuals convicted of a felony usually lose their right to own firearms. Discuss how to fight these penalties in more detail with a weapons charges lawyer in Los Angeles. We’re ready to help you now.
Firearm Possession Can Increase the Penalties for Other Crimes
The potential penalties for many criminal acts get more severe if the defendant used a firearm while carrying out these crimes. Often this will bump a charge up from a misdemeanor to a felony, which will mean increased fines, longer incarceration times, and the revocation of your rights to gun ownership.
A felony charge for a violent crime involving a firearm will have lifelong consequences if you are convicted. These offenses can affect every area of your life, even after you have served your time. If you have been charged with a crime involving a firearm, it is critical to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you fight these charges.
Defenses Against Gun Crime Offenses in California
Gun crime charges are treated very seriously by the court system in California. Many of these crimes are treated as misdemeanors or felonies. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you fight these charges.
We can work to show you were not in possession of an item that met the definition of a firearm. This may help to lessen your charges in some cases. We can also take steps to show that you had the appropriate permits to carry or use a firearm.
Our team can advise you on how to handle questioning by police officers and the prosecution. Allow us to help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed. We’ll also stand up for you in court. Learn all of your legal options by contacting us right now.
Fight Firearm Charges With a Lawyer from the Simmrin Law Group
Want information about how to fight charges involving firearms under Penal Code 16520 in California? Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group for assistance if you face charges involved with a gun crime.
You can count on our criminal defense lawyers here in Los Angeles. Just complete our online contact form to get started. You can also call us for a free consultation. We will review your case, answer all your questions, and advise you on the best path forward as you fight these charges.