Some of the strictest gun laws in the United States are active in the state of California and to better navigate such cases as this, there is a need to seek the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney orange county. With California boasting of more laws on the books regarding guns than any other state in the United States, it remains important to know what is what.

The activeness of the law regarding guns in California makes it easy for an average person to lack the proper understanding of the state’s gun laws, what can be passed off as non-criminal offenses and others that can get them into as much trouble as a jail term. When it comes to firearms, there are specific laws regarding ownership, rights to ownership, the process of guns and firearm acquisition, and who are forbidden to own one. Failure to tow the proper legal process of obtaining a gun, carrying a gun, or gun use may land you in a serious legal mess.

Anyone found in violation of the gun laws and restrictions in the state of California will be exposed to serious legal consequences which mostly will be in the form of criminal charges punishable by the judgment pronounced in court. In some cases, these criminal charges may present offenders with steep penalties which may include one or a combination of the following; lengthy prison time, fines, increased restrictions to gun ownership and use, amongst others.

When dealing with a possible violation of the California gun laws and restrictions, getting an experienced attorney to defend your interests in court is one of the most important decisions to make as this will, to a large extent, influence the outcome of the case.

Who is eligible to purchase a firearm in California?

Residents of the state of California that are at least 18 years of age are qualified to purchase a long gun. However, only those over the age of 21 are allowed to purchase a handgun. As part of the purchase process, it is required that gun owners possess state-issued driver’s license or a means of identification, in the form of an acceptable identification card which proves the identity of the buyer and their residency within the state. There exist numerous other restrictions which may disqualify certain people of the privilege to purchase and own a gun.

What is the process to buy a gun?

To purchase a gun in the state of California, interested persons should approach only licensed California firearms dealers for this purpose. Upon approach, gun buyers will be required to tender their acceptable means of identification which shows their age and residency within the state. Intending buyers will also have to submit to a background check before they can legally purchase a firearm. The background check conducted is aimed at establishing whether or not there are certain restrictions that may forbid an intending buyer from gun ownership.

If you pass the background check, you will be required to possess a Firearm Safety certificate issued by the state of California. You will be required to pass a 30-question written test that is administered by the Department of Justice Instructor. Interested takers can also visit the DOJ website for study guides.

Once you have passed the examination and have the certificate, you can proceed to complete the paperwork required to make a purchase. You will also be required to wait for a period of 10 days before the firearm will officially be delivered into your possession.

Who is forbidden from owning or buying a firearm?

Regarding who can own and possess firearms, there are several prohibitions that can bar a person from taking possession of firearms in the state of California. Below are some of the minimum federal requirements for gun ownership in the state of California.

–    Anyone that has been convicted of felony charges, violent use of a firearm, or brandishing of a firearm or other weapons is prohibited from ownership and possession of firearms in the state of California for life.

–    Convicted sex offenders with a mental disorder or anyone who has been ruled incompetent to stand trial are prohibited from ownership and possession of firearms in the state of California for life.

–    People who have been convicted of various misdemeanor charges, including gun-related crimes, are for a period of 10 years prohibited from the use and ownership of a firearm in the state of California.

–    Anyone that has been admitted into a mental health facility or anyone who has been arrested and taken into custody for fear of hurting themselves is not allowed access to possession, ownership, and use of a firearm in the state of California for a period of 5 years.

–    Anyone who has been denied access to a firearm as a condition for their probation or anyone that has been charged with a felony offense but still awaiting the resolution of their charges is prohibited from firearm use.

–    Anyone who has been registered as a narcotics addict is also prohibited from the use and possession of firearms in the state of California.

Charges related to gun laws in California   

There is a long list of charges which are associated with a firearm. However, below are some of the most common charges for which persons can be held;

–    “Felon with a firearm” charges are reported when an offender with a felony conviction has been found in possession of a gun. Such a charge as this can be punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

–    “Carrying a concealed firearm” charges can be reported against someone with a gun concealed on their person, or a person in possession of a firearm in a vehicle without a permit. This charge, although a misdemeanor charge can result in up to one-year jail term and a fine of up to $1,000.

–    “Carrying a loaded firearm in public” charges can be leveled against persons who carry a loaded gun(s) on their person or in a vehicle (which is not locked in a trunk). Such charge as this is punishable by penalties similar to that of a concealed firearm.

–    Possession of a firearm at certain prohibited locations such as churches, mosques, schools, government buildings, public transport facilities, and other areas can result in felony charges of up to seven years in jail.