In California, like the rest of the United States, it has always been a crime for convicted felons to own a firearm. However, there was some ambiguity as to whether this restriction applied to those with a warrant out for their arrest or not. Recently, the legislature of California amended the Penal Code to clarify, and to add some new restrictions on, who can legally own a firearm.
If you have an outstanding warrant, it’s a felony to own a firearm
The new Senate bill clarifies that anyone who has been convicted of a felony, or for certain misdemeanors, cannot legally own a firearm. The listed misdemeanors include things such as assault, domestic battery and stalking.
In addition, the law also clarifies that this ban on owning firearms applies to anyone who knows that they have a warrant out for their arrest for a felony, or for any of the listed misdemeanors. That means that, if you know that you have a warrant for your arrest, and you own a firearm, you can have an additional felony added to the charges against you.
This restriction also applies to those who are addicted to drugs
This Senate bill also extends the ban on firearm ownership to anyone who is addicted to narcotic drugs. The California Department of Justice has clarified that a person commits a felony if they own a firearm while addicted to narcotics.
The punishment for violating this law can be up to a year in jail, a hefty fine or both.
Other categories of people who are not allowed to lawfully possess a firearm in California include those whom a court has determined are mentally unstable, undocumented immigrants and those who have been discharged dishonorably from the military.
As a Californian, you should stay abreast of the changes in California’s gun laws, and make sure that none of these restrictions apply to you before you obtain a firearm. Failure to comply with these laws could result in additional charges being brought against you, making the defense of your case much harder.