California gun laws prohibit certain individuals from owning a firearm, such as non-residents and those under 21 years-old. The law also bars felons from possessing a firearm. This is often called the "felon with a firearm law."

Is it a Violation to Own a Firearm If I am a Felon?

California law prohibits a person from possessing, owning, or purchasing a firearm if convicted of a specific offense.

What Does a "Certain Offense" Mean?

Offenses that could restrict an individual from possessing, owning, or purchasing a firearm include:

The law includes federal crimes where the defendant spent 30 days or more in a federal correctional facility, and/or received a fine of $1,000. 

Is Possessing a Gun as a Felon the Same as Owning an Illegal Firearm?

No. Illegal firearm possession refers to obtaining a legal firearm in an illegal way or obtaining an illegal weapon no matter how it’s purchased. 

What’s the Penalty for Violating Having a Firearm as a Felon?

In California, the charge of felon with a firearm is considered is a felony. It is punishable by 16 months to 3 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The court may also require the defendant to forfeit all weapons, and the defendant may face deportation if they are an immigrant. 

Are There Any Defenses I Can Use to Fight This Charge?

Yes. There are plenty of defenses a defendant can pick from to fight this felony charge. This important thing is to pick the one that fits the facts of the case. Some common defenses include: 

  • The defendant had momentary possession
  • The defendant possessed the firearm in order to take it from a criminal and give it to the proper authority.
  • The defendant didn’t have knowledge of the firearm

Do I Need a Lawyer to Fight This Charge?

Yes. A criminal defense lawyer will help you fight this charge by choosing the best defense for your situation.