National Weapons Offenses Lawyer Defending You in Court
Attorney Diane C. Bass is a zealous advocate who fights aggressively in court for all her clients. Especially when the matter at hand relates to your constitutional rights, Attorney Bass will do her best to develop a strong and tenacious defense to protect your rights in the face of weapons charges at the federal or state level.
What Are the Federal Firearms Laws?
Federal firearms laws severely penalize weapon use by a violent offender or drug trafficker. More specifically, possession of firearms by convicted felons or drug users can warrant punishments of up to 10 years of imprisonment. If such possession occurs after the person is convicted of three violent felonies or serious drug trafficking offenses, the violator must serve at least 15 years in prison.
Be aware that charges can be filed whenever a firearm is used or carried during the course of a violent or drug trafficking crime. For example, if an offender, while using a firearm, robs two federally insured financial institutions or commercial businesses that affect interstate commerce, they could face 25 years’ imprisonment for firearms offenses in addition to the sentence received for the substantive robbery charges. If the offender robs three such institutions, they could be facing 45 years imprisonment in addition to the robbery penalties.
Additionally, the use of a shotgun or assault weapon adds ten years to a violent crime charge, and the use of an automatic weapon, silencer, or destructive device will add 30 years’ imprisonment to the underlying charges.
Note that the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 also makes it a crime for a juvenile to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition or for anyone to transfer to a juvenile a handgun or handgun ammunition. A juvenile convicted in violation of this statute faces misdemeanor punishment, and adults violating this statute (transferring to a juvenile) also face misdemeanor punishment unless it is proven that they transferred a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the juvenile intended to use it in the commission of a crime of violence, in which case the adult will face felony punishment of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
What Are Firearms Laws?
At the state level, California has certain laws addressing firearms use and unlawful offenses. Gun laws give most adults aged 21 and older the right to buy, own, and possess a gun, and licensed gun dealers cannot do any of the following in relation to a person under the age of 21:
- sell a gun;
- supply a gun; or
- transfer a gun.
It is also illegal to carry a concealed firearm or concealed weapon unless they have a lawful concealed carry permit. Open carry of a loaded or unloaded weapon is illegal.
There are certain weapons banned for possession or distribution, including:
- short-barreled shotguns and rifles;
- undetectable firearms; and
- zip guns.
Note that there are six specific places in California where a person cannot bring a firearm:
- public buildings and meetings open to the public;
- government buildings;
- the Governor’s mansion;
- airports and passenger vessel terminals; and
- public transit facilities.
Be aware that some gun laws also apply to armor-piercing bullets, silencers, stun guns, laser scopes, and laser pointers.
There are several crimes in California that involve firearms and may be punished seriously under state or federal weapons laws, such as:
- inflicting bodily injury while brandishing a gun;
- “drive-by shootings” under California law;
- personal use of a firearm in the commission of a felony;
- offenses under the “10-20-life “use a gun and you’re done” law;
- criminal street gang participation;
- commission of a firearm felony while possessing metal-piercing armor or wearing a bullet-proof vest;
- use of a gun during the commission of sex crimes; and
- aiding or abetting a felony with a firearm.
In addition, nearly 40 misdemeanors carry a 10-year firearms ban, including crimes of:
- brandishing a weapon; and
- making criminal threats.
A felony conviction and even certain weapons-related misdemeanor convictions can result in a lifetime ban on guns. A person can try to restore their gun rights, and this is most commonly accomplished by getting a “wobbler” felony reduced to a misdemeanor or receiving a pardon from California’s Governor.
What Are Other Weapons Charges are There?
Other weapons charges include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon in a public space without a proper permit. Concealed carry permits are especially difficult to obtain in California.
- Illegal weapons in California also include brass knuckles, cane guns, firearms with exceptionally large ammunition magazines, throwing stars, explosive bullets, and a variety of specialty knives.
- It is against federal law when illegal gun purchases are made that take the sale or transportation of those firearms across state lines.
- It is illegal for someone to own or possess a firearm in the state of California if they were recently hospitalized for reasons of mental illness.
- Self-defense is a viable legal defense, but it can be abused and disbelieved without the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Contact Attorney Diane C. Bass for Legal Help
If you have been charged with a firearms offense, whether at the federal level or the state level, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney immediately to discuss your next steps. Attorney Diane C. Bass can take a look at your situation and the nature of your charge to determine your best method of defense in court and how to restore any stripped gun rights.
If you are facing criminal charges in a firearms case or a criminal case involving other weapons in Southern California or nationwide, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer. The criminal justice system has strict laws involving the use of a deadly weapon or loaded firearm. Diane C. Bass has an outstanding reputation and is well thought of by clients and fellow criminal defense attorneys. To begin forging your criminal defense and confidential attorney-client relationship, schedule a free consultation by calling her office at 949-494-7011.