Even though a constitutional right, owning a firearm in California has always come with many restrictions. In fact, California has some of the more restrictive firearms prohibition laws of any state. To illustrate, the conviction of an individual of a specified list of crimes will subject the individual to either a lifetime or a ten-year ban on possessing a firearm. Accordingly, if one is suspected of committing one of these crimes, it is essential to engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that the suspected individual is given the absolute best opportunity at overcoming the charges asserted against him/her. As mentioned above, there are some crimes in California that result in a ten-year ban on possessing a firearm. Currently, the California Legislature is considering amending this law by increasing the number of crimes which would also be subject to the ban require.
Senate Bill 55
Currently, there are a number of instances in California which will result in a permanent ban on possessing a firearm. Most common is the conviction of a felony or of a specified list of misdemeanors. Additionally, two convictions for brandishing a firearm, or a conviction for assault with a firearm, will result in a lifetime ban. Further, Californians who are addicted to narcotics, or mentally ill or involuntarily committed on a psychiatric hold twice in one year, may not possess a firearm.
Conviction on most misdemeanors will not prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm. However, there are a number of misdemeanors which, if convicted, will result in that individual having a ten-year ban on the possession of a firearm. These misdemeanors include:
- Brandishing a firearm or other weapon; and
- Making criminal threats.
In total, there are about 40 misdemeanors which fall into this category. Senate Bill 55 is hoping to increase that number. This bill would specify that any individual convicted of misdemeanor violations of two or more of the following offenses, or of two or more of any one of the following offenses, within a 3-year period, would receive a ten-year ban for the possession of a firearm:
- Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell;
- Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated;
- Disorderly conduct;
- Public intoxication; and
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Obviously, the best strategy for patriot firearm owners would be to not run afoul of these crimes. Even though they are misdemeanors, the penalty period is definitely not worth the risk. For those who are accused of committing one of these crimes, talk to a defense attorney as soon as possible. They may be able to, for example, convince the prosecution to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor, if the crime is a wobbler crime (meaning it can be brought as either a felony or a misdemeanor). Alternatively, the attorney can assist an individual in applying for a certificate of rehabilitation, which, if granted, can turn into a request for a pardon from the Governor. Finally, the attorney can help an individual seek to have his/her record expunged. Any one of these options can potentially, if successful, restore firearms rights to the individual.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been suspected, charged, or even convicted of a crime in which your ability to possess a firearm would be or is restricted, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. Criminal cases happen fast, but our attorneys know how to use the full force of the law in your defense. Contact the Los Angeles criminal defense firm today for an initial consultation.