Penal Code §32900 deals with the illegal possession of “bump stocks” in the state of California. The term “bump stock” refers to “multi-burst trigger activators” or “reciprocating stocks.” These items allow semi-automatic rifles to fire bullets much faster and at a continuous rate.
Adding a bump stock to a weapon can make the gun an “assault weapon” in California. Both the state and federal court systems prohibit the ownership of bump stocks. Contact the Simmrin Law Group for help fighting this charge. Call (310) 997-4688 to speak with a member of our team.
Bump Stocks as Defined by the State of California
According to PC §16930, bump stocks are devices that:
- Attach to semiautomatic firearms AND
- Make the firearm discharge at least two bullets in a burst when the device is activated OR
- Increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic firearm
Bump stocks modify a pre-existing firearm. They allow a shooter to fire without stopping, as long as the stock of the gun is against the shooter’s shoulder. Note that guns with a bump stock are not considered automatic weapons, despite their increased firing rate.
California State Laws on Bump Stock Possession
PC 32900 makes it illegal for people in California to own a bump stock. However, possession of a bump stock is not the only act forbidden under PC 32900.
According to this section of California’s legal code, individuals are also prohibited from making, importing, or selling, or giving away bump stocks. California made the possession of bump stocks illegal in 1990.
Federal Charges Related to the Possession of Bump Stocks
The federal court system made the possession of bump stocks illegal in 2019. Specifically, the federal court decreed that the use of a bump stock turns a firearm into a “machine gun.” Machine guns are illegal in the U.S.
Individuals are legally expected to turn over any bump stocks to the ATF. They can also destroy a bump stock if they do not want to turn the device over. Individuals who fail to follow these regulations can face federal charges.
Note that sometimes the state still handles charges for possession of bump stocks. The federal court only steps in for certain cases. For example, if someone imported a bump stock over state lines, the federal court can step in to prosecute the case.
The Simmrin Law Group can help if you are facing state or federal charges related to bump stocks. Call (310) 997-4688 for help.
Legal Ownership of Bump Stocks in California
The state of California allows certain people to legally own bump stocks. These individuals are exempt from PC 32900 regulations. Individuals may possess a bump stock if they:
- Work in law enforcement
- Sell or rent these tools to entertainment productions
- Participate in television or movie production
- Work for a museum or historical society
Note that these individuals are not automatically allowed to possess bump stocks. They must obtain permission to do so. Individuals with this permission should not have to face PC 32900 charges.
Penalties for the Illegal Possession of Bump Stocks
Individuals can face state or federal charges for the possession of a bump stock in California. The state court treats these charges as “wobblers.”
Wobblers are charges that are prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. The prosecution will determine how to handle wobbler charges.
The court hands down different penalties based on the charge. Individuals can end up with:
- One year of incarceration for a misdemeanor conviction
- Three years of incarceration for a felony conviction
Additionally, the California Attorney General can confiscate the bump stock, regardless of whether an individual faces misdemeanor or felony charges.
Federal Penalties for Buvmp Stock Possession
Federal charges lead to more serious repercussions than state charges. All possession of bump stock charges are treated as felonies in the federal system. A conviction in federal court can result in:
- Fines of up to $250,000
- Prison time of up to 10 years
As you can see, the federal court system can hand down more serious charges for the illegal possession of bump stocks. A lawyer in Los Angeles can assist you with these allegations right away.
Defenses Against PC 32900 Accusations in California
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help if you are facing charges under PC 32900. He or she can build a strong defense for you. In some situations, a lawyer could argue that you were:
- Legally allowed to possess a bump stock
- Didn’t know you had a bump stock
- Had a bump stock that belonged to another person
A lawyer could also show that you were subjected to an illegal search in California. For example, perhaps the police searched your home without a warrant and found the bump stock. They may be unable to use the results of the search against you in this situation.
Fight Penal Code 32900 Charges with a Lawyer Today
Contact the Simmrin Law Group for help with charges related to Penal Code §32900. Members of our team are standing by to assist. Just call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We can help you handle both federal and state charges for bump stock possession.