Convicted felons in California are not allowed to legally buy or possess a firearm. This regulation applies even after a personl is released from prison. Individuals who acquire a firearm after a felony conviction can face charges.
Penal Code §29900 details the jail sentence for ex-felons with a firearm in California. According to PC 29900, these individuals have to spend at least six months in jail, in most cases. Find out more about this charge with the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688.
California’s Felon with a Firearm Law
PC 29900 deals with the minimum amount of time someone spends in jail for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. The state has another law to handle the general possession of a firearm by a felon. Penal Code §29800 is the state’s “felon with a firearm” law.
PC 29800 directly makes the possession of a firearm by a felon a criminal act. PC 29800 also makes firearm ownership illegal for individuals:
- With an addiction to a narcotic drug
- With convictions for some violent misdemeanors involving firearms
Individuals in these categories are not legally allowed to own, buy, receive, or possess a firearm. Note that this law only applies to individuals who knowingly buy or possess a firearm. People should not face a PC 29800 conviction if they were unknowingly in possession of a gun.
The Legal Definition of a Firearm in California
California uses a set legal definition for “firearms.” Firearms are a kind of weapon. They must expel a projectile through a barrel. These items must use an explosion or force to expel the projectile. Items that meet this definition include:
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of items that are considered firearms in California. There are also some items that closely resemble firearms that do not meet this definition. BB guns and pellet guns, for example, are not considered firearms.
Individuals with a felony conviction are not allowed to own any firearms. This applies even if the firearm is not loaded while it is in their possession. This regulation also applies to firearms that do not work. Possession of a broken gun is still against the law in California.
Find out more about the definition of a firearm with our team at the Simmrin Law Group. Our weapons charges lawyers in Los Angeles can share their legal experience with you. Get started by calling us right now at (310) 997-4688.
Kinds of “Possession” in the State of California
Convicted felons are not allowed to “possess” firearms in the state of California. The state defines two distinct types of possession. Individuals can face criminal charges if they have:
Actual Possession of a Firearm
Individuals have direct control of a firearm if they have “actual possession” of the item. Individuals carrying a firearm in a thigh holster would have actual possession of the weapon. A weapon carried in a backpack would also be in the actual possession of a person.
Constructive Possession of a Firearm
Sometimes, individuals have “constructive possession” of a firearm. These individuals can easily access a firearm, even if they don’t have it on their person. A person who keeps a firearm on top of their fridge while they are at one would have constructive possession of the weapon.
Results of Possession of a Firearm by an Ex-Felon
PC 29800 is a felony-level offense in California. This means that conviction will result in another felony charge on an individual’s record. Individuals convicted under California’s felon with a firearm law can face:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Incarceration for up to three years
PC 29900 provides further instruction about how to handle the jail sentence for an ex-felon with a firearm conviction. PC 29900 specifically states that ex-felons must generally spend at least six months in jail before they are eligible for probation.
However, PC 29900 also gives the court the right to set aside this requirement in some cases. The court will only set aside this minimum amount of jail time in very unusual situations. Generally, the court must decide that jail time is not in “the interests of justice” in order to set aside a jail sentence.
This means that most people convicted under PC 29800 will spend at least a few months behind bars. Individuals will remain unable to own or possess firearms after they are released from jail.
Defenses for California’s Felon with a Firearm Law
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help if you are accused of possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. Members of our team understand how to build a strong defense for you in this situation. We can work to show that you:
Were Trying to Dispose of the Gun
Sometimes, individuals come into possession of a gun in a tense situation. For example, Man A attempts to mug Man B. Man B manages to take the gun away from Man A. He has possession of the gun but intends to give it to the police right away. Man B could avoid a conviction under PC 29800 because he did not intend to maintain possession of the firearm.
Did Not Know You Had the Firearm
PC 29800 charges apply to individuals who knowingly possess, own, buy, or keep a firearm. You should not face a PC 29800 conviction if you did not know about the firearm. This means you could avoid a conviction if someone left a firearm in your home or car without telling you about the item.
Review the Jail Sentence for Ex-Felons with a Firearm
Penal Code 29900 deals with the minimum jail sentence for ex-felons who possess a firearm. The minimum sentence is usually six months. Some people face up to three years in jail. The Simmrin Law Group can help you handle California’s felon with a firearm charges. We’ll get to work on your case if you call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form.
Start working with our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers now. Take charge with a free consultation.