In Los Angeles, you are not allowed to sell, rent out, or give away a firearm without a valid permit. Even with a valid permit, you can only sell the type of firearm it specifies. Unfortunately, it’s easy for responsible gun owners to break this law without even realizing it – and it carries hard jail time for each gun sold.
If you have been arrested for selling or giving away a gun, do not take chances with your future. You need to talk to an unlicensed/illegal sale of firearms defense attorney in Los Angeles who understands your charges. At the Simmrin Law Group, we have dedicated ourselves to helping those accused of breaking gun laws and other offenses.
What Counts as an “Unlicensed” Sale or Transfer of a Firearm?
A California state law known as Penal Code 26500 makes it illegal to sell, lease or transfer firearms without a license to do so. This applies to any type of firearm, defined as any weapon that fires a projectile using the force of an explosion or combustion.
This description applies to all traditional firearms, as well as tasers, rocket launchers, and flare guns. It does not include pellet guns or BB guns. Antique firearms are also exempt as long as they are not loaded.
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Are There Exceptions to the Unlicensed Firearm Sale Law?
Yes. The number of exceptions is one of the reasons the law is so complex. For example, none of these groups need a permit to sell/transfer guns, even if a transfer takes place:
- The military
- Law enforcement
- Target ranges or gun clubs that rent guns solely for use on the premises
- Anyone taking a gun to a gunsmith to be repaired
- Anyone who inherited a gun and simply wants to dispose of it
- Foreign government if authorized by the US Department of State
- Sales among manufacturers, importers, and dealers authorized by the government
- Performers using unloaded guns in a play, movie, or other production
- Anyone selling at a gun show, subject to strict limits
A skilled unlicensed/illegal sale of firearms defense attorney in Los Angeles could be able to get your charges dropped if someone has wrongfully accused you. A lawyer from our firm can sit down with you for a free consultation and tell you what they can do.
Los Angeles Unlicensed/ Illegal Sale of Firearms Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
How Does the Gun Show Exception Work for Firearm Sales?
This is one of the most common situations among dedicated gun enthusiasts. Essentially, you are allowed to sell some guns – with no permit – at gun shows/ gun events. This comes with its own set of rules:
- You cannot sell or transfer handguns
- You must comply with all other laws regarding gun sales
- You cannot sell or transfer guns at more than 12 shows in a calendar year
- You cannot sell/transfer more than 15 guns at any one show
- Additionally, you cannot sell/transfer more than 75 guns in a year
As you can see, even the “exceptions” involve red tape and strict rules of their own. Many people think they are doing everything correctly and don’t realize they’re actually breaking the law.
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What Are the Penalties for the Unlicensed Sale of a Firearm in L.A.?
The penalties are much harsher than you’d expect. Although unlicensed sale is a misdemeanor, its penalties include:
- Up to six months in jail, and
- Up to $1,000 in fines for each gun sold or transferred
That means that if you sold three guns, you could face three separate charges and a sentence for each one. Potentially, you could spend years in jail for a single nonviolent offense.
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Can the State of California Take My Guns if I’ve Been Arrested?
For the most part, the state can legally take your guns only if you are guilty of a felony. However, there are some gun-related misdemeanors that will result in a five-year, ten-year, or even lifetime gun prohibition.
According to the California Department of Justice, misdemeanors that can prohibit you from buying or owning guns include:
- Unauthorized possession of a weapon in a courtroom, courthouse, or court building, or at a public meeting
- Supplying, selling, or giving possession of a firearm to a person for participation in criminal street gangs
- Discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner
- Bringing into or possessing firearms upon or within public schools and grounds
- Possession of ammunition designed to penetrate metal or armor
- Unauthorized possession/transportation of a machine gun
- Firearms dealer who sells, transfers, or gives possession of any firearm to a minor or a handgun to a person under 21
- Theft of a firearm
- Criminal storage of a firearm
Thankfully, unlicensed firearm sale under Penal Code 26500 is not one of the misdemeanors listed. However, if you are charged with one of the listed misdemeanors or anything else that could prohibit your gun rights, along with your unlicensed firearm sales charge, you could lose your guns.
An L.A. unlicensed or illegal sale of firearms defense attorney can make sure your rights are intact.
What Can a Los Angeles Illegal Sale of Firearms Defense Lawyer Do for Me?
The Los Angeles unlicensed sale of firearms defense lawyers from Simmrin Law Group care about your rights and want to make sure you don’t get an unfair sentence. To that end, our attorneys will:
- Investigate your case and find evidence to support you
- File all necessary motions and documents
- Negotiate a reasonable plea if one is available
- Seek to reduce or dismiss your case, if possible
Our lawyers have years of experience representing Los Angelinos, and we know what to do to defend you from your charges. If you’ve been accused of unlicensed or illegal sale of firearms in Los Angeles, you deserve representation that will pull out all the stops to help you.
What Are Defenses Against an Unlicensed Firearm Sale Charge?
There are many ways to fight this kind of charge. The one you should use depends on the specifics of what happened, and how police found out about the alleged sale or transfer. Some of the most effective defenses include:
Many gun sale arrests come from undercover operations. Basically, police go out posing as gun buyers and try to get someone to sell to them illegally. Police have to follow very specific rules in these operations, or the arrest is not valid.
Specifically, the police cannot pressure you to break the law. If you initially resisted selling the gun and were “talked into it,” you may have an entrapment defense.
Illegal Search and Seizure
How did the police find or recover the gun(s)? In some cases, police may not have had a legal right to search a person, vehicle, or location—even if they claim that they did. Search rules are complex, but an illegal search may mean you win your case.
Police cannot remember every detail of every law. It’s possible to be arrested for unlicensed sale, even if you qualify for an exception to the law. A lawyer can help you review whether any exceptions apply.
Sometimes officers lie. Sometimes their reports are wrong. Some may coerce confessions, violate your Miranda protection, or otherwise violate your civil rights. Any of these could be grounds for suppressing evidence or dismissing the case.
Remember that prosecutors are overworked and look for easy wins. Simply by having a lawyer and presenting a valid defense, you send a strong message that you won’t go down easily. In many cases, this is enough to get an offer with no jail time. Other times, we may be able to win your case entirely.
Talk to an Unlicensed Sale of Firearms Attorney in Los Angeles for Free
We understand that California’s gun laws are complex, strict, and hard to follow. We don’t believe you should go to jail for making a mistake. Let us put our legal experience to work for you. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your case and get started.
The Los Angeles unlicensed/ illegal sale of firearms defense lawyers at Simmrin Law Group are on your side. We have the legal knowledge and the courtroom experience to win cases – and we care. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us and get your free consultation today.