Glendale Firearm Defense Attorneys Serving Los Angeles County
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a firearms offense in Los Angeles, you need help from a zealous California firearms crime defense lawyer as soon as possible. Call the seasoned criminal defense lawyers at McReynolds Vardanyan after your firearms offense arrest to discuss your options and start building a strong defense today. In this article, we review some of the most commonly charged firearms offenses in Southern California.
When Is It Legal to Own a Firearm in California?
California might not be the most gun-friendly state, but California residents and visitors are allowed to possess firearms so long as they satisfy the basic criteria for ownership. People over the age of 21 can purchase a handgun so long as they are California residents, present a valid driver’s license or California identification card, and pass a background check. The gun must be purchased from a licensed dealer, and the dealer must wait ten days before transferring the gun to the purchaser.
Additionally, the following people can legally own a gun in the state:
- A person aged 18 or older with a valid hunting license
- A law enforcement officer
- An active or honorably discharged member of the U.S. armed forces
California has banned the purchase or gifting of assault rifles. However, it’s legal to keep an assault rifle you already own, so long as it has been registered with the government or modified to no longer meet the characteristics of an assault rifle. The owner of a qualifying assault rifle must have a Dangerous Weapons Permit.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
There are a number of California laws that prohibit certain individuals from owning any kind of firearm. If you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm, or if you are concerned about whether you can legally own a firearm, talk to a knowledgeable firearms defense attorney at McReynolds Vardanyan.
California law may prevent ownership of a firearm for any of the following reasons:
- Convicted felon
- Narcotics addiction
- Dishonorably discharged from the military
- Certain misdemeanor convictions, including domestic violence, assault and battery, and stalking
- Probation, restraining order, or other court order preventing gun possession
- Minors under the age of 21
- Mental illness rendering them a danger to the public or themselves
- Registered sex offender
- Deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of insanity
- Currently under prosecution for a felony
- Undocumented alien
- Fugitive from justice
- Two or more convictions for brandishing a firearm
- And more
City or county law can also place additional restrictions on who may carry firearms, under what conditions, and where they may be carried. If you intend to own a firearm and/or carry the firearm in public, it’s important to understand the laws of the county, the city, the state, and the federal government before doing so.
Carrying a Concealed or Loaded Weapon
Although gun ownership is legal in California, there are several restrictions on when and how you may carry a gun. Unless you possess a valid concealed weapon permit, it is unlawful to carry a concealed weapon in public. The crime covers concealed weapons located in vehicles as well as concealed on the defendant’s person. The crime is punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances and the nature of the defendant.
California law also prohibits the carrying of any loaded gun in public. The punishment for carrying a loaded firearm in public depends upon the nature of the defendant, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Brandishing a Weapon
California law prohibits anyone from drawing or exhibiting a firearm in a “rude, angry, or threatening manner” in the presence of another person. Brandishing a weapon is a misdemeanor punishable by three months to a year in jail, depending upon the nature of the weapon and other circumstances. Brandishing a firearm at a daycare center or in the presence of a law enforcement officer may be punishable as a felony, with a prison sentence of up to three years. Multiple convictions for brandishing a weapon can cause a person to lose their right to own a gun.
Dedicated and Experienced California Firearms Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, brandishing a weapon, or other firearms-related offenses in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California, our zealous and successful firearms defense lawyers are ready to protect your rights. Call the criminal defense legal team at McReynolds Vardanyan to start building your case today. We fight for your rights and your freedom.