Felon in Possession of a Firearm
California Penal Code 29800 PC, otherwise known as the “felon with a firearm” law, prohibits three groups of people from owning or acquiring guns:
- Convicted felons
- A person convicted of certain misdemeanors
- Those addicted to narcotic drugs
If anyone falls within one or more of these groups and they are discovered owning, possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearms, they can lose their gun ownership rights for 10 years to life, depending on the circumstances. Juveniles will be banned from gun ownership until the age of 30.
Under the felon with a firearm law, illegal possession of a firearm is a felony. If convicted, a person can face 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in the state prison and / or a maximum fine of $10,000. Legal immigrants or aliens may end up being deported.
If someone buys, owns, or possesses a firearm within 10 years of being convicted of certain misdemeanors, it is a wobbler offense that could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Punishment is either one year in the county jail or 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison and / or a $1,000 fine.
People who were made wards of the court after a juvenile court decision following certain crimes and are found buying, receiving, owning, or possessing a firearm before they turn 30 can also be found guilty of a wobbler offense.
Conviction for any felony in the state of California will result in a lifetime ban from acquiring, possessing, or owning a firearm. Certain misdemeanors incur the same penalty, such as assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and some violations of the state’s “brandishing a weapon” law.
Certain people are prohibited from owning firearms under federal law. They include:
● Those under indictment for an offense punishable by more than one year in prison
● Recipients of a dishonorable discharge from the military
● Illegal aliens
● People who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
● Those under a court order for stalking
● Fugitives from justice
A federal conviction can potentially result in a sentence of 5-10 years in prison and a heavy fine.
Assault with a firearm, brandishing a weapon or firearm, carrying a firearm in public, improper handling of a weapon in a motor vehicle, negligent discharge of a firearm, personal use of a firearm
Anyone previously convicted of a felony needs to hire a California criminal defense attorney if they are charged with illegally owning, possessing, buying, or receiving a firearm. Because the penalties include fines, jail or prison time, and even a lifetime ban on gun ownership, proper legal advice is needed at the outset.
The following are some of the most common defenses: inability to prove that the defendant legally possessed the firearm, being unaware of the firearm’s presence, using a gun in an unpremeditated act of self-defense, momentary possession of a firearm in order to dispose of or destroy it, and justifiable possession: i.e. taking the gun away from an assailant
In August 2013 Patrick Raahauge, 46, was arrested after state investigators received a tip stating that he had allegedly been seen handling weapons and ammunition at the gun range in Corona in Riverside County. In 1999 Raahauge had been convicted of stealing a car, followed by a conviction for illegally possessing a gun and ammunition in 2003. He had filed a petition seeking a pardon from the governor the previous July but it had not been considered at the time he was arrested.