Some individuals convicted of criminal acts in California have to turn over any firearms that they own. The state regulates the relinquishing of firearms by convicted persons. Penal Code § 29810 deals with the legal requirements for handing over firearms after a conviction.
Individuals have a set amount of time to relinquish their firearms after a conviction. They may fill out a number of forms to legally hand over their weapons. Find out more about the exact steps for firearm relinquishment with the Simmrin Law Group.
Penal Code 29810: Basic Information
PC 29810 details the procedures used for the relinquishment of firearms by convicted persons in California. This law comes into play only if an individual is convicted of:
- A felony
- Certain misdemeanors
Individuals do not have to relinquish their firearms until after they are convicted. The state does not take an individual’s weapons after they are accused of a criminal act. After a conviction, many people in California are prohibited from owning:
PC 29810 requires the California court system to issue an individual with clear instruction to give up their weapons. PC 29810 is tied to Proposition 63 here in California, which passed in the year 2016. PC 29810 has been used by the court system in our state since the year 2018.
For a free legal consultation with a relinquishment of firearms by convicted persons lawyer serving California, call (310) 896-2723
Charges That Lead to a Firearm Ban
Not all criminal convictions force individuals to relinquish their firearms in California. However, all felony convictions will result in a firearm ban in our state. Additionally, there are some misdemeanor charges that will lead to a ban, including:
- Brandishing a weapon
- Criminal threats
Be aware that these are only examples of charges that can result in a firearm ban in California. Most charges that result in a ban are tied to violent criminal acts. However, this is not the case in all situations. For example, some individuals can face a ban after a conviction for stalking.
Review charges that lead to a firearm ban in detail with the Simmrin Law Group. Our weapons charges lawyers can answer your additional questions.
California Relinquishment of Firearms By Convicted Persons Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Requiring the Surrender of Firearms in Cases Addressing Mental Health Crises
It is not a crime to have a mental health condition in the state of California. However, certain individuals may be prohibited from purchasing or retaining firearms if they’ve been diagnosed with certain mental health conditions. Similarly, California law enforcement may require people who’re undergoing mental health evaluations at a court’s request to surrender their firearms.
Individuals who lose access to their firearms under these circumstances will receive a receipt detailing the nature of their surrendered property. Health care representatives are required to inform convicted individuals of the means through which they may reobtain their firearms. That said, these same professionals must notify law enforcement of a person’s release.
Once you’ve been released from a mental care facility, jail, or prison, you may have the right to request the return of your firearms. This will depend on the nature of your mental health and any convictions that you faced.
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Steps to Relinquish Firearms in California
Some individuals are instructed to relinquish their firearms after a criminal conviction in California. The court should provide explicit instructions about the relinquishment of these weapons. Generally, individuals will receive a “Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form.” An individual must use this form to:
- List any firearm, magazines, or ammunition in their possession
- Select a third party or agency to take the weapons
Individuals can relinquish their firearms to a law enforcement agency. They can also choose a third party – such as a family member – to take the weapons. However, a third party cannot keep the weapons. The third-party will have to:
- Give the weapons to law enforcement personnel
- Take the weapons and sell them to a licensed firearm dealer
- Allow a licensed firearm dealer to store the weapons
Note that people must relinquish their firearms in California within a set period of time.
Individuals who are not in custody only have five days to complete and submit the Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form. Individuals in custody will have 14 days to complete this form.
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California’s Alternative Methods of Relinquishment
Penal Code 29810(f) notes that courts may vary the time spans in which convicted individuals may relinquish their firearms to the state. How the court opts to vary this timeframe may depend on the nature of the case and other circumstances involving the availability of the defendant.
This same section notes that California allows its courts to permit alternate methods of relinquishment. However, the section does not elaborate on what those alternatives might look like. Instead, 2016’s Summary of California Firearms Laws from the Department of Justice elaborates on the alternatives used in cases previously assessed by the state.
According to the summary, California has previously permitted the transfer of firearms to immediate family members or other private parties. These transfers must involve a third-party licensed gun dealer to verify them.
Penalties for Failure to Relinquish Firearms
Failure to properly relinquish firearms after a conviction results in serious legal repercussions in California. Individuals who do not complete their Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form on time are committing an infraction.
Infractions in California usually lead to small fines. Submitting a form late can result in fines of $100. However, this is not the only penalty for failure to turn over firearms by convicted persons. These individuals can also face criminal charges for the unlawful possession of a firearm.
California uses Penal Code §29800 to handle the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. This charge also covers individuals who unlawfully possess firearms after committing certain misdemeanors. PC 29800 is a felony in our state. A conviction under PC 29800 can result in:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Incarceration for up to three years
Generally, the court also requires individuals caught with an illegal firearm to forfeit their weapon.
Penal Code 29810: Legal Defenses
There are several legal defenses that can work to handle PC 29810 violations in California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you review these defenses right now. Your lawyer could work to show that:
You Faced Unreasonable Search and Seizure
According to the Fourth Amendment, police officers may not search your home or vehicle without a warrant unless they:
- Received consent to search
- Did so during a lawful arrest
- Enlisted probable cause
- Found an object in plain view of the doors or windows
In this same vein, officers may not search a person on the street unless the officer concludes that there is ongoing criminal activity in the area. Even then, the search must be brief and non-invasive.
With this in mind, you can argue that the discovery and forced surrender of your firearms violated the constitution. The improper possession of evidence against you can lessen some of the charges brought against you. You can even get a criminal case thrown out of court.
You Were Not Convicted
You should only face orders to relinquish your firearms after a conviction in California. You do not have to hand over your firearms if you are only convicted of a crime. A lawyer can work to defend you so that you are not convicted in court.
You Were Given Incorrect Instructions
The court must provide you with instructions if you are ordered to relinquish your firearms after a conviction. This means you could avoid facing fines if a lawyer shows that the court never gave you a Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form, for example. Speak to a lawyer if you received unclear instructions about handing over your firearms.
You Had Good Cause to Miss Court Deadlines
We discussed the time limits for submitting a Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form. However, the court may excuse you if you are late submitting this form for a good reason. For example, perhaps you were very ill when you were supposed to submit the form. We can brainstorm your “good cause” during a free case evaluation.
Talk to a Lawyer About Relinquishing Firearms By Convicted Persons
Contact the Simmrin Law Group if you have questions about the steps for relinquishing firearms by convicted persons in California. We will walk you through the facts about Penal Code § 29810.
It’s easy to reach out to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer when you want help. We’ll even review your situation with a free consultation. Learn more by calling us or completing our online contact form.
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