California, already known throughout the United States for its relatively strict gun laws, has recently updated their regulations to ban the sale or purchase of assault weapons. However, it is still legal for gun enthusiasts to own an assault rifle if they purchased their weapon prior to the passing of the new gun restrictions. If you already owned an assault rifle and have registered it with the Department of Justice, you do not have to get rid of your assault rifle. If you have not yet registered it with the DOJ, the deadline for doing so is June 30, 2018. Any assault weapons that are unregistered after that date will be deemed illegal.
There are limited exceptions for those who have been issued a special license to manufacture and sell assault weapons to approved law enforcement officers or agencies, but selling guns without a license is illegal.
What Is An ‘Assault Weapon?’
The Department of Justice has clear guidelines available online as to what constitutes an assault weapon under the new laws. In fact, the DOJ keeps a list of all weapons so that there can be no confusion. However, if you are not sure whether a certain type of gun can be considered an assault weapon, the following criteria is a useful guide. If your gun can be described by any one of these bullet points, it is considered an assault weapon and you must register it by the June 30 deadline.
- Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle or pistol with a fixed magazine of more than ten rounds.
- Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle, shotgun, or pistol with a detachable magazine and certain features such as stocks, grips, or grenade launchers.
- Semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that is fewer than 30 inches long.
- Semiautomatic, centerfire shotgun that features a revolving cylinder.
If you currently own these weapons, register them immediately because. They are considered assault weapons and are banned under the new laws.
What Are The Restrictions On Owning A Registered Assault Rifle?
If you own and have registered your assault rifle with the Department of Justice, there still exist certain conditions that you must meet in order to avoid breaking the law.
You may possess the firearm under these conditions:
- The weapon is kept on property you own or with the property owner’s permission.
- The weapon can be used at specific gun clubs or shooting ranges.
- The weapon can be possessed on public land if you have the permission of the governing body.
- The weapon can be transported to the above places as well as to a licensed gun dealer in the event that you need a repair.
What About Ammunition?
If you’re planning a trip to the shooting range with your assault rifle, it won’t be very fun unless you have ammunition. Under the new law, you can still purchase ammo online or via catalog, but there is one new and significant change. You cannot have the ammunition sent directly to your place of residence. Instead, you must ship the ammo to a licensed vendor and pick it up from there. This law went into effect on January 1, 2018.
Penalties For Breaking The New Assault Rifle Ban
Possessing an illegal assault weapon can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony at the discretion of the prosecutor. If convicted, a person faces some serious consequences. In both cases, a conviction will result in the destruction of the weapon, as assault weapons are legally considered a public nuisance under the new law. Here are the possible penalties for convictions:
- A misdemeanor charge can result in a maximum of one year in county jail as well as a fine of up to $1,000.
- A felony conviction can lead to jail time of 16 months to three years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Additional consequences could be the loss of your legal ability to own any firearms. Of course, using an assault weapon while committing another crime, such as robbery or assault, will result in even harsher penalties.
Due to the serious nature of the penalties for breaking the new gun laws, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of owning an illegal assault rifle. The knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Simmrin Law Group are available to help and offer a FREE initial consultation on your case.Having a criminal defense attorney on your side could be the difference between a harsh conviction and an acquittal, so do not hesitate to contact Simmrin Law Group.
Fill out the form on the right or call (310)-997-4688 to start learning about ways you can bolster your case.