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The issue of gun-related crime is always a heated topic in California, which is often motivated by the government’s repeated attempts to apply increasingly restrictive regulations on lawful gun possession and ownership. Criminal charges for this, or any, type of crime should always prompt the accused to seek an experienced criminal defense attorney. Millions of Americans believe owning a gun is an important right that should be protected, and over 20 percent of Californians choose to exercise this right by owning a gun. The State legislature is presently considering a number of proposed bills that seek to curtail the purchase and possession of guns throughout the State. Critics of these measures argue that they will do little to stop those intent on the criminal use of firearms from obtaining them, and only further impose onerous and unnecessary regulations on dealers and owners. An overview of the legislation currently being debated by lawmakers related to gun ownership will follow below.

Purchase

Existing California firearms law limits a person from applying to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer to just one application during any 30-day period. Correspondingly, a dealer is prohibited from delivering handguns to a purchaser if the dealer is notified that the person has filed multiple applications within the past 30 days. This restriction on handgun purchases is subject to exceptions for law enforcement, private party transfers, and the return of the gun to an owner, among others. The application for and delivery of more than one handgun to the same person during the same 30-day period is a crime unless one of the exceptions applies. Under the proposed law, the 30-day restriction on purchases would be extended to all types of firearms, but additional exceptions would be added for individuals with valid hunting licenses seeking to purchase a firearm other than a handgun and firearms, other than handguns, purchased at charity events.

Open Carry

Current California law generally prohibits the open carry of all unloaded handguns, outside of a vehicle, in public areas of any city, county or incorporated area. Additionally, other unloaded firearms, such as shotguns, cannot be carried in the open, except in unincorporated sections of various counties. Under the new proposed law, the prohibition of openly carrying a firearm, other than a handgun, out in public would also be extended to unincorporated areas of a county. This new restriction would further limit the lawful possession of a gun in California, and cause additional erosion of citizens’ rights to own guns.

School Zones

Starting in 2015, California prohibited the possession of a firearm in an area the gun owner knew or should have known was a school zone, which encompassed any area within 1,000 feet of any public or private K-12 school. However, school superintendents retained the authority to make exceptions to this restriction, and could provide written permission to possess a firearm when the school official found such as a request was appropriate. The law proposed by State lawmakers would remove this authority from school superintendents, and impose a State-wide prohibition of thepossession of a firearm within a school zone. Violations of this provision are punished as a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to one year in county jail. However, violations can also be charged as felonies if certain enhancing factors are present, such as previous felony convictions or if the accused is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing your day in court without an experienced criminal defense attorney puts you at great risk of being convicted and receiving a harsh sentence. The Los Angeles law firm Manshoory Law Group, APC will examine your case, and build the strongest possible defense strategy to eliminate or minimize the potential consequences. Attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us for a free consultation.

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