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Gun & Weapon Crime Lawyer in San Diego


Unlawful Sale & Distribution of Guns

Often, an unwitting and innocent person will be charged with a gun crime simply because he or she did not know California’s laws concerning ownership, registration, and purchase of a firearm.

Gun crimes include:

  • Possession
  • Sale
  • Distribution

If you have been accused of a crime related to firearms, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You will need a lawyer who can actively assert and protect your rights, so they are not violated in any way during the criminal process. San Diego defense attorney James N. Dicks is familiar with California’s gun laws and how they affect people who sell, own, or buy firearms.

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Firearm Regulations in California

In California, in order to legally purchase a gun, you must:

  • Obtain it from a licensed dealer
  • Submit to a background check
  • Wait 10 days until you can get the gun

You cannot possess a gun if you have been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor offenses. It is illegal to sell firearms without a proper permit, and it is illegal to sell or possess certain types of firearms that have military features (such as a machine gun or fully automatic rifle). Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are on the lookout for gun violations and the illegal sale or distribution of firearms. Prosecution will not be lenient if you are found in violation of any laws or regulations.

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Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Possession of an illegal weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon are crimes that may qualify as felony or serious misdemeanor offenses, with a state prison or county jail sentence involved. Unfortunately, the people accused of these crimes often do not know they are in possession of an illegal weapon or legally purchased a weapon in another state or country that they did not register in CA.

Under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, American citizen have a right to bear arms. However, the rise in gun crimes has led state and federal legislators to govern what types of weapons are permitted.

In California, it is illegal to possess:

  • Machine gun
  • Nunchaku (nunchucks)
  • Armor-piercing bullets
  • Knives
  • Daggers
  • Sawed-off shotgun

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Traveling with a Firearm Inside Your Vehicle in California

The State of California has specific regulations regarding how firearms can be possessed and/or transported in a motor vehicle. Depending on the type of firearm and license, people can be found guilty of violating concealed weapons and firearm possession laws if specific guidelines are not adhered to. Rules regarding possession of a firearm inside of a motor vehicle include:

  • Handguns/Concealable Firearms- Under California Penal Code Section 25610, citizens who are legally allowed to be in possession of a firearm may have a handgun in the vehicle only if it is unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a vessel, such as a locker or box. When being transporting from a motor vehicle, the gun must be carried directly to or from the vehicle to the location it is being lawfully transported to and must be carried within a locked container. If an individual has a California Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCWL), he or she may keep the handgun outside of a locked container. California does not recognize any CCWL from outside states.
  • Rifles and Shotguns- Firearms that are not classified as concealable weapons (shotguns and rifles) are not generally covered within California Penal Code Section 25400 and as a result, are not required to be transported in a locked container. However, all firearms must be unloaded when being transported in a motor vehicle.
  • Registered Assault Weapons- Under California Penal Code Section 30945, registered assault weapons may be transported only between the owner’s home and the target range of a public or private club, or an organization the exists for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets. While in transport, the firearm must be unloaded and stored in a locked container.

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Brandishing a Firearm

California law prohibits the exhibiting, drawing, or discharging a firearm. If you brandish a firearm in an angry, audacious, or threatening manner, prosecutors could charge you under California Penal Code 417. Laws against brandishing or threatening people with firearms seek to prevent potentially volatile confrontations. Brandishing a firearm gives rise to violence that the law wishes to discourage, regardless of whether you intend to cause harm or not.

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Request Your Free Consultation: (760) 630-2000

At jD LAW, P.C., our criminal defense lawyer remains abreast of California laws governing weapons and helps those who have been charged with any type of weapon or firearms charge. Contact us today.

If you have been charged with violating one of California's weapons laws, you are urged to contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney from jD LAW, P.C. for aggressive defense.

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Sample of Case Results

  • Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon -
    Reduced to Misdemeanor
  • Felony Possession of a Firearm -
    Case Dismissed

View more case results here.


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James N. Dicks

About James N. Dicks

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Time is of the essence when your future is in jeopardy.
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