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Gun ownership has been a hot button topic for a number of years, and people tend to have very strong opinions on either side of the issue. The Second Amendment states that citizens have the right to “bear arms” and the U.S. Supreme Court has thus far supported this interpretation. However, cities and states do have the right to impose regulations on gun ownership and use. California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, and these laws are about to get even more stringent. Additional regulations make it more likely a person could be arrested for a violation, and if this happens, a criminal defense attorney is needed to protect the person’s rights. The new law, labeled Proposition 63, was approved by California voters in the November 8th election, but sharply divided law enforcement and prosecutors against state politicians, as law enforcement views the law as an unnecessary encroachment on gun owner’s rights that will achieve none of the intended public safety benefits. In a nutshell, the law, which becomes active on July 1, 2017, seeks to further restrict sales of ammunition, create a new crime related to stolen guns, and implement a new court procedure to take away guns from certain convicted individuals.

Ammunition Possession and Sales

Once the law becomes effective, gun owners will be prohibited from possessing magazines that contain more than 10 rounds, even if obtained legally. Before July 1, 2017, the magazines must be surrendered to law enforcement for destruction, removed from the state, or sold to a licensed firearms dealer. Further, all sales of ammunition must be funneled through licensed ammunition dealers, even if the buyer and seller are private citizens. These new regulations will make it harder for hunters and those wishing to protect their homes from acquiring sufficient amounts of ammunition, and will increase costs to responsible gun owners, but most likely have a negligible effect on reckless individuals trying to buy large amounts of ammunition.

Stolen Guns

The law now requires gun owners to report all lost or stolen firearms to local law enforcement within five days, or face misdemeanor charges. The major issue with this provision is that a gun owner may not know a gun is stolen or lost for a number of days. People who legally own guns rarely check firearms stored in a secure location on a daily basis, so a gun could be gone for days or weeks before the discovery is made. Further, only responsible gun owners are likely to follow this regulation, and irresponsible gun owners will ignore it entirely, which will defeat the purpose of tracking the movement of illegal guns.

Court Procedure

Finally, the new law creates a court procedure for removing firearms from individuals convicted of felonies and certain drug-related crimes. Upon conviction, the defendant will be permitted to designate a third party to dispose of or transfer firearms and ammunition the defendant owns or possesses. The designee must relinquish or transfer all firearms and ammunition owned or possessed by the defendant to law enforcement or a licensed firearms dealer within five days of a conviction, and certify the disposal or transfer took place. Failure to follow this procedure is misdemeanor subject to a fine.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Owning a gun in California comes with a lot of hoops to jump through, and missing or misunderstanding a regulation could land you in jail. If you were arrested or are facing charges for a gun-related offense, let the Los Angeles law firm, Manshoory Law Group, A.P.C. fight for your rights. Attorneys are available 24/7 to take your case. Contact the office for a free consultation.

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