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Can a felon possess a firearm

There are a variety of ways a person may possess a firearm in the State of California. A person may purchase a firearm in accordance with state guidelines, where a background check is processed, a fee is paid, and the gun is registered to a rightful owner. Firearms may also be purchased through illegal means such as “off the streets” where there is no documentation of the transaction. In either case, a convicted felon may not engage in either transaction since it is illegal for a felon to possess a firearm in the State of California in accordance with PC 29800 (a)(1).

The term firearm includes rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, or any other device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is expelled by the force of any form of combustion. The term firearm includes the frame or receiver. A handgun is any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person that has a barrel length of less than 16 inches.

There are; however, some interesting carve outs and exceptions. In the State of California, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, you may not own or possess a firearm for a period of up to ten years. A lifetime ban applies to those with a felony domestic violence conviction. 

A felon’s civil rights may be limited to the loss of the right to vote, to run for public office, and even to serve on a jury. Perhaps the most well-known right that is forfeited is the right to bear arms. below, are some examples of cases in the State of California, where previously convicted felons were indicted by a grand jury on possession of a firearm:

  • A 28-year-old Sacramento ex-felon who was accused of selling a gun after he left a parole office. Authorities found an AR-15 assault rifle that had no serial number.
  • A 32-year-old Sacramento ex-felon on a variety of charges including shooting at a federal agent and possessing multiple firearms, including two machine guns. He faces life in prison if convicted.
  • A 27-year old Bakersfield ex-felon on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Glock that had been converted into a fully automatic machine gun. He faces 10 years in a federal penitentiary.
  • A 58-year-old ex-felon who had a semi-automatic weapon, after previously having been convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.

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