Penal Code 626.9 covers California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act. This act makes it illegal to possess or use a firearm while you’re within a school zone. This act was amended in 1994 to redefine areas considered “school zones” to make the laws harsher.
Individuals convicted under PC 626.9 can face fines and jail time. Individuals in California can also face other gun crime charges if they possess or use a weapon in a school zone. The Simmrin Law Group can help you fight back against California’s gun control laws. Call us right now at (310) 896-2723.
The Legal Definition of a Firearm in California
PC 626.9 prohibits people from bringing guns, or firearms, into a school zone. Firearms are any weapons that use force to expel a projectile. This includes:
The Gun-Free School Zone Act does not distinguish between loaded or unloaded firearms. Bringing any firearm into a school zone is against the law.
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School Zone Locations in California
PC 626.9 makes it illegal to bring a firearm into a “school zone” in California. You may be wondering how the state defines a “school zone.” The court system in California defines school zones as any areas around a public or private school.
It is illegal to bring a firearm within 1,000 feet of the grounds of any public or private school. Residences or private property that are not considered a part of a school’s grounds are not covered under PC 626.9.
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Penalties for PC 626.9 Violations in California
There are a variety of penalties associated with PC 626.9 violations. Individuals can face up to five years in prison just for bringing a gun into a school zone. Additional penalties can apply if someone uses a gun in a school zone.
Firing a gun while in a school zone is a more serious offense. Individuals who commit this action can face up to seven years in prison.
Finally, an individual’s past criminal history may impact the penalties for a PC 626.9 violation. Individuals who have past felony convictions can be subject to California’s “Felon with a Firearm” law. This law makes it illegal for most felons to even own or possess a gun.
Convictions under PC 626.9 typically lead to the confiscation of any firearms an individual owns. The court can order individuals to give up their guns and even prohibit them from purchasing or acquiring new firearms.
PC 626.9 Charges and Legal Exceptions
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help if you were accused of bringing a gun into a school zone. For example, there are many exceptions to PC 626.9 regulations. You may be able to avoid a conviction if you fit one of these exceptions. Talk to a lawyer if:
- You were legally transporting a concealed weapon
- You were carrying a firearm because you were in fear for your life
Individuals are allowed to carry firearms that are secured properly. The lawful transport of a firearm through a school zone should not result in a conviction. You are also allowed to legally carry a firearm for self-defense in some situations. Additionally, some people have authorization to carry firearms due to their jobs or status. This includes:
- Security guards
- Peace officers
- Bank guards
We’re here to provide you with more information about your possible legal defenses to PC 626.9 charges and help you fight back. Reach out to us immediately to learn more.
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Talk to a Lawyer About California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act
Contact the Simmrin Law Group if you have questions about Penal Code 626.9 and how to fight it. Our team has years of experience helping clients accused of violating California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act. Find out more about how we can help you with a free consultation today. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles want to talk to you.
Contact us by calling (310) 896-2723. You can also fill out our online contact form.