The state of California has several gun laws making it possible to commit several gun crimes in the state. Knowing the gun laws and gun crimes in the state can be a major way to protect yourself and ensure that you do not need the services of a Los Angeles gun crimes attorney. While several people are not aware of the full extent of the law concerning guns and gun crimes, it is possible for a legal gun owner, one with registered ownership of a gun to commit gun crimes in the state of California. This is because even for legal gun owners, there are certain restrictions or violations that can be incurred by such an individual.

While many people can legally own or possess guns in the state, there is a need to understand the undertones, nuances, and exceptions in California’s gun laws to ensure that you remain in compliance with the demands of the state law.

Gun Violence in California

In the state of California, it is legal for an individual to own and possess a firearm. However, there are several aspects of the law that forbids indiscriminate or unwarranted use of such a firearm carried. The restrictions and limits designed by the state law are aimed at making sure that each carrier does not need to make use of such a firearm until it is necessary. 

With each exception provided by the law, there are certain conditions that are also applicable making it a harder task to indiscriminately discharge a weapon in public. Violations to the state gun laws occur when a carrier discharges their weapon in public or when such a weapon is being concealed without proper license or qualification to own one.

In certain cases, police officers may also be held accountable in light of the California gun law, especially when their firearms are discharged in another crime. When a citizen of the state has been arrested in violation of the state gun crime laws, whether for possessing or owning a handgun, such arrests may lead to criminal charges.

Prohibited Possession of a Gun in California

There are certain classes and groups of people in California who are by law not allowed to own or possess a gun legally.

  1. A person who has been convicted of a felony offense in any jurisdiction in the state and other states may not be eligible for legal ownership and possession of a firearm in the state.

Ii. In addition, someone who has been established to be with drug addiction or a person addicted to controlled substances and/or illegal drugs cannot own a firearm in the state of California.

Iii. A person who has been convicted two or more times of brandishing a weapon, whether a firearm or not, is regarded as unfit to possess or own a firearm in the state of California.

  1. Persons who have been arrested and convicted for certain misdemeanor charges are also ineligible to possess or own a gun legally in the state of California.
  2. Persons that have been diagnosed with mental illness are also not eligible to own and/or possess a gun legally in the state of California

vi.A person who is under the age of 21 is not legally allowed to purchase a gun in the state.

Possession of a Handgun

A citizen of the state of California can purchase or possess a handgun, except those who have been legally exempted from owning and/or possessing one. However, to legally possess a handgun in the state, such a person will be required to have a valid safety certificate and a legal right to possess a firearm.

California Gun Crimes

One of the easiest ways to possess such a weapon as this in the state of California is to possess a concealed firearm permit. With such permit, an individual can possess a concealed firearm on his or her person legally. To obtain this permit, such a person will be required to go through the sheriff or chief of police.

He or she who wishes to possess this permit must also show that they are morally upstanding, and have a good reason to want the permit/license to carry a concealed firearm. Also, such a person must be a resident of the city and must be certified to have completed a course in firearms training for professionals.

Violations for Gun Possession

In California, a violation of the gun law stands when a person who is among the exempted is found in possession of a firearm in the state. Also, a person under the age of 21 who is legally exempted from carrying and possessing guns can be found to be in error of the law. An individual who is not a citizen of the state or the city may also be found in violation of the state or city law if he or she is found in possession of an unlicensed firearm in the state.

A person may also be found in violation of the state gun laws if he or she has no license for the guns carried or has failed to enroll in a professional weapons training program.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

If a person is found to be concealing a weapon in the state without a permit to do so, such a person may also be arrested on grounds of violating the laws of the state leading to gun charges.

Any of the above-listed offenses against state laws is enough grounds for arrest and in most cases, this can lead to a conviction that carries penalties like fines, or a specified time in county jail.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Gun Convictions

Purchasers and sellers of guns may also face charges that could lead to misdemeanor crimes. Such crimes may involve the selling of firearms, transferring of weapon or leasing of weapon without a proper license, either on the seller’s or buyer’s part. When convicted of such misdemeanor crimes as this, a convict may face as much as one year in county jail alongside fines pegged at a maximum of $1,000. In the event there were additional crimes, the possible penalties may become steeper leading to higher fines and penalties.

Additional Gun crimes

Citizens of California may also be arrested on grounds of additional gun crimes such as the possession or carrying of an illegal firearm in the state. The state has made provisions for a list of firearms that can be carried or possessed by individuals and those that are deemed illegal. If a person has been found in possession or carrying such a prohibited firearm, then they may be faced with gun charges or aggravated charges.


By: Douglas Miranda

Los Angeles criminal attorney Douglas Miranda graduated with honors from California State University, Los Angeles, and earned his J.D. from Western State College of Law in Fullerton. Since his admission to practice law in California, he has received special training and certification in forensic science, jury selection, and sex crime defense. Mr. Miranda also helps clients terminate their probations early and expunge their criminal records.

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