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New Study Shows That Violent Felons May Be Able to Get Guns in California — Don’t Make that Mistake

April 26, 2019

Violating this law can lead to additional criminal charges.

New Study Shows That Violent Felons May Be Able to Get Guns in California — Don’t Make that Mistake

In April, researchers from Stanford Law School and a nonprofit criminal justice research group, Measures for Justice, released a report that have caused lawmakers to consider new reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies throughout California. According to the report, there are gaps in criminal justice data that allow some violent felons — who are prohibited from owning guns under state law — to own firearms, while simultaneously barring people who are permitted to own guns from doing so.

This report has led Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Alameda, to submit a proposal that would create a statewide reporting standard for local and state law enforcement agencies as well as courts. It would also ensure that public records laws would permit access to the necessary information.

As a criminal defense lawyer San Bernardino, CA can explain, the report found that as many as 60% of the arrest records put together by the California Department of Justice are missing critical information. This may include vital items such as how the case was resolved or criminal histories — facts that will influence whether or not a particular person is permitted to own a firearm. There is no statewide standard for how counties must track arrests, inmate records or criminal cases.

While this news may tempt some people with criminal histories to attempt to purchase a weapon — it shouldn’t. If you are found to be a felon in possession of a firearm, you could be charged with a felony offense. In addition, you could lose your right to own a firearm for 10 years — or even face a lifetime ban on possessing a firearm. It simply is not worth it to even attempt to purchase a firearm if you know that you are barred from doing so under the law.

California law prohibits (1) people who have been convicted of a felony offense anywhere; (2) people who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors; and (3) people who are addicted to any narcotic drug from owning guns or ammunition. This covers a range of people — including many people who have previous criminal convictions. If you have any doubt as to whether you are prohibited from owning a gun under California law, consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer San Bernardino, CA.

The penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm depends on the facts of the case. If you have a previous felony conviction, you could be sentenced to up to 3 years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If you have a prior misdemeanor convictions that subject you to the ban, you may be sentenced to 1 year in county jail or a fine of up to $1,000. However, you may be charged with a felony offense for possessing a firearm if you have prior misdemeanor convictions, which will lead to between 16 months and 3 years in California state prison and a fine of up to $1,000. If you possess a firearm and are in violation of a restraining or protective order, you could be sentenced to up to 1 year in county jail, or up to 3 years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, for any of these crimes, you will be subject to either a 10 year or lifetime ban on possessing firearms.

If you have a criminal history, it is not worth the chance of attempting to purchase or possess a firearm — even if the gaps in statewide arrest data make it possible. If you have been charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, contact the Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer San Bernardino, CA. We will advocate for your rights and your freedom.

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