Basic Information About the .50 BMG
The .50 BMG is a kind of firearm used by many militaries around the world. The weapon was first developed in the 1910s. However, it was not used officially in the military, until 1921. NATO is one of the many organizations around the world to make use of this weapon.
However, individuals outside of the military are not supposed to use this weapon in the state of California. California restricts the usage of a .50 BMG due to the size of the ammunition used in the weapon and its rate of fire.
Facts About Possession of a .50 BMG
It is against the law to “possess” a .50 BMG in the state of California. The state recognizes two primary kinds of possession. Both forms of possession will result in criminal charges. Individuals can face PC 30610 charges if they have actual or constructive possession of this weapon.
Actual Possession of a .50 MG
“Actual” possession involves direct contact with a .50 BMG. An individual who goes for a walk with a .50 BMG slung over their shoulder is in actual possession of the gun. Individuals who carry around the firearm in a bag are also in actual possession of the weapon.
Constructive Possession of a .50 BMG
People can still have possession of a .50 BMG even if they are not carrying it. This is considered “constructive” possession. Individuals have constructive possession of weapons that are in their control. For example, you have constructive possession of a .50 BMG if you have it stored in a gun case in your home.
Penalties for PC 30610 Convictions
PC 30610 is generally treated as a misdemeanor in the state of California. A conviction under PC 30610 usually results in:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
- Summary probation
However, misdemeanor charges are not always used. In some cases, the prosecution will treat a PC 30610 offense as an infraction. Infractions are less serious than misdemeanors. An infraction charge will only lead to fines of up to $500, and you will not face any jail time.
Individuals can face an infraction charge only in specific circumstances. Infraction charges are only used for a first-time PC 30610 offense. Additionally, individuals only face this charge if they have possession of no more than two firearms. Furthermore, the court only treats PC 30610 violations as an infraction if an individual lawfully possessed a .50 BMG before 2005.
Reach out to a weapons charges lawyer in Los Angeles if you have questions about infraction and misdemeanor charges. Just call us to start working with a member of our team at the Simmrin Law Group.
Will My Gun Rights Be Revoked for an Offense?
Whether charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor, a conviction for violating California Penal Code 30610 should not affect your gun rights in California. Generally, the only offenses that will restrict an individual’s gun rights include misdemeanors for violent crimes and any felony charges.
However, those who have a history of mental illness or drug addiction can also be barred from owning or possessing a firearm.
Does a Conviction Count As a Strike on My Record?
A conviction under Penal Code 30610 is not a strike according to California’s Three Strikes Law. Like with the restriction of your gun rights, strikes are generally only given for felonies and certain violent misdemeanor charges.
Charges Like Possession of a .50 BMG
California has a reputation for having strong gun control laws. Our state uses many different charges to handle the illegal possession of certain weapons. Examples of these charges include:
- Penal Code 30600: Assault Weapons and Rifles in California
- Penal Code 30605: Possession of an Assault Weapon in California
- Penal Code 16590: Manufacturing, Selling, or Possessing Dangerous Weapons
In many cases, individuals can face charges if they import, sell, or give away firearms in the state of California. In fact, people need to have a license to sell guns in our state. Some firearms, including assault weapons, are much harder to buy and sell legally.
Furthermore, individuals face criminal charges if they carry legally purchased firearms in public. California only allows you to carry a gun in public if you have a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit. Most people are not awarded one of these permits. Individuals can face charges even for carrying an unloaded or broken firearm in public.
Finally, using a firearm to harm or kill someone else is a serious criminal offense in Los Angeles. Individuals can face charges for murder or attempted murder. You can get help with these charges from a violent crimes lawyer in Los Angeles.
Defenses for Possession of a .50 BMG
PC 30610 charges do not automatically result in a conviction here in California. In fact, you can work with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to build a strong defense right away. A lawyer can review the specific facts of your case and then work to show that:
- You were exempt from PC 30610 charges
- You did not have possession of a .50 BMG rifle
- You did not know you possessed a .50 BMG rifle
You Were Exempt From PC 30610 Charges
Some people in California are legally allowed to possess a .50 BMG. These individuals may have a permit allowing them to own an assault weapon. Talk to a lawyer right away if you are legally permitted to have possession of a .50 BMG rifle.
You did Not Have Possession of a .50 BMG Rifle
We discussed the legal definition of “possession” earlier in this article. You should not face a PC 30610 conviction if you were not in possession of an assault weapon. Perhaps the firearm belonged to someone else, and they merely brought it into your presence. This argument could allow you to avoid a PC 30610 conviction in Los Angeles.
You did Not Know You Possessed a .50 BMG Rifle
It is possible to possess one of these weapons without even knowing it. Someone you know could have brought the weapon into your home and hid it there. You are only guilty of an offense if you knew that you had a .50 BMG rifle in your possession. A criminal defense lawyer can help show that you were unaware of the presence of the firearm.
Ask a Lawyer for Help With Penal Code 30610 Charges
The Simmrin Law Group can help if you are charged under Penal Code 30610 in California. Just reach out to our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles to get help. Our team understands charges for the possession of a .50 BMG. We will get to work on your case when you call us or fill out our online contact form.
Take control of your future now by contacting us for a free consultation. We will review your case, answer any questions you may have, and advise you on the next steps to take. We can help build a strong case on your behalf and give you the best chance at avoiding a conviction or minimizing your penalties.