Penal Code § 30600 PC - Assault Weapons in California

Penal code 30600 PC assault weapons in California

California takes the law on assault weapons seriously. Penal Code § 30600 PC makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute, transport, or sell assault weapons in the state. If someone has an assault weapon, California law says that person could face harsh penalties. These laws aim to reduce gun violence and keep dangerous weapons off the streets.

The rules about assault weapons can be confusing, but it's essential to understand them. If you own a gun in California, you need to know if it counts as an assault weapon. Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers is here to help explain these laws. Illegal possession of an assault firearm is a significant charge, and the punishment imposed pursuant to this law can be substantial.

Learn more about assault weapons laws in California below. Then, give us a call to schedule a free case consultation.

Penal Code § 30600 PC: What Are Assault Weapons Under California Law?

An assault rifle in California isn't just any gun. It includes semiautomatic centerfire rifles and pistols with certain features that make them more deadly. For example, a rifle with a detachable magazine and a pistol grip is an assault weapon.

A quick, specific list of weapons considered assault weapons in CA include:

  • A self-loading rifle with a central firing mechanism designed to accommodate a removable magazine, which also possesses at least one of these characteristics:
    1. A prominently extending pistol grip below the action of the firearm;
    2. A stock with a cutout for the thumb;
    3. An adjustable or retractable stock;
    4. A launcher for grenades or signal flares;
    5. A device at the muzzle to diminish flash visibility; or
    6. A handle at the front for a secondary holding point.
  • A self-loading, centrally fired rifle with a non-removable magazine that can hold more than ten rounds.
  • A self-loading, centrally fired rifle with a total length under thirty inches.
  • A self-loading pistol that accommodates a removable magazine and includes one of the following attributes: 1) a barrel with threading for attaching devices like suppressors, handgrips, or silencers; 2) an additional place to rest the hand; 3) a protective barrel cover that allows for firing without hand burns, not including the slide covering the barrel; or 4) a design that allows a magazine to be attached outside of the pistol grip area.
  • A self-loading pistol that has an integrated magazine capable of holding over ten rounds.
  • A self-loading shotgun featuring both an adjustable stock and a protruding pistol grip, a stock with space for the thumb, or a vertical grip for control.
  • A self-loading shotgun with the capability to fit a detachable magazine.
  • A shotgun equipped with a revolving cylinder for ammunition.

If you illegally possess assault weapons or assault rifles, you could face imprisonment pursuant to Section 30600 for felony possession. Of note, .50 BMG rifles are also banned under this section.

The Legal Consequences of Possessing Assault Weapons

The legal consequences of possessing assault waepons

Owning an assault weapon illegally in California is a significant charge. If the police catch you with one, you're breaking California Penal Code Section 30600. The state doesn't go easy on these cases because they want to prevent violence, including domestic violence, assault, and homicide. A few key points to keep in mind include:

Penalties and Sentencing for Violations of Penal Code § 30600 PC

If you have an assault weapon, you could face a felony charge. If you are convicted, you could face up to eight years in county jail as well as felony probation. If the court can prove that you sold, gave, or transferred the weapon to a minor, you could face an additional year in prison. Of note, if you are found to have multiple assault weapons in your possession, each gun could count on a separate offense. This means that financial sanctions and jail time can escalate quickly. Reach out to us for help with felony possession charges.

Defending Against Assault Weapon Charges

There are legal defenses to assault weapon charges, though. Maybe the police did an illegal search and found the gun when they shouldn't have. If they didn't have a valid search warrant or probable cause, the court might not let them use the gun as evidence.

If you have a valid permit to possess the weapon, this could be used as a valid defense. If you lawfully possessed the weapon, the charges could be dropped. Furthermore, if you can prove the weapon is not an assault weapon, you could have the charges reduced or dropped altogether. An accomplished criminal defense attorney can tell you if these defenses might work for you.

Restrictions and Prohibitions on Assault Weapons

California doesn't just ban the possession of assault weapons. The law also stops you from selling, giving, or lending these guns to others. The law is particularly harsh if it can prove that you sold, loaned, or gave the weapon to a minor.

Even if you're not in California, you need to be careful. Federal law also has rules about assault weapons. Bringing an assault weapon into California from another state can land you in trouble with both California and federal law.

Registering Assault Weapons with the California DOJ

Registering assault weapons with the California DOJ

If you have an assault weapon in California, sometimes you can register it with the California Department of Justice (DOJ). But there are strict deadlines and rules about this. You can't just register any gun at any time.

The registration lets the state know who has these guns and where they are. This helps law enforcement officers keep track of assault weapons. But remember, even with registration, there are still many restrictions on what you can do with the gun.

A Conviction Under California Penal Code § 30600 PC Could Strip Your Gun Rights

If you’re convicted under this firearm statute in California, you'll find yourself stripped of the right to own or acquire guns. This isn't a short-term restriction—it's a lifelong ban that affects you in every corner of the state. The law bars you from purchasing any firearm, regardless of your preferences or needs post-conviction. This is a felony conviction. A convicted felon in California cannot legally possess a firearm at all.

In California, the laws are stringent, especially concerning gun ownership for those with a history of felonies. The state aims to curb potential risks by denying felons access to firearms, asserting that past criminal behavior predicts future risk. No matter the type of firearm, from handguns to more powerful weapons, if you've been convicted of a felony, the law is inflexible: you lose your gun rights, and that loss is indefinite.

Exemptions and Exceptions to the Assault Weapons Ban

Exemptions and exceptions  to the assault weapons ban

There are a few exceptions to the assault weapons ban. Law enforcement officers, for example, can sometimes have assault weapons for their jobs. Also, if you have a valid permit, you might be allowed to own one. If you're making a movie and need an assault weapon as a prop, there's a special process for that, too. You need to make sure you are not committing an illegal act, either a misdemeanor or a felony, so reach out to us for more information.

What You Should Do If You Are Charged Under Penal Code § 30600 PC

If the police or California Highway Patrol charge you with a violation involving assault weapons, stay calm. Regardless of whether it is a concealed firearm or not, the steps to follow include:

  1. Do Not Talk to the Police: Don't say anything to the police without a lawyer. Anything you say can be used against you, even if it is a first violation.
  2. Contact a Lawyer Immediately: Find a strong criminal defense attorney who knows about assault weapon charges. That is where our team can help you.
  3. Follow Your Lawyer's Advice: Listen to our team. We know how to handle these charges and can guide you through the process.
  4. Keep Quiet About Your Case: Don't talk to others about your case. The only person you should talk to is your lawyer.
  5. Gather Evidence: Collect any evidence that might help your case. This could be proof that you owned the weapon legally or that the police search was illegal. Your attorney will also work to ensure you have the strongest defense possible.
  6. Be Ready for Court: Make sure you know when and where your court dates are. You do not want to miss a court date, as your bail might be revoked.
  7. Stay Out of Trouble: Don't get into any more legal trouble. It's essential to show the court that you're taking this seriously.

After you take these steps, your lawyer will work to build the best defense for you. Your Los Angeles Gun Crimes Lawyer might be able to get the charges dropped or reduced. Count on our team to fight for you.

Count on Our Los Angeles Gun Crimes Lawyer at Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers

Contact our Los Angeles gun crimes lawyer at Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you're facing charges under Penal Code § 30600 PC, you need the right lawyer. Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers has experienced gun crime lawyers ready to help you. We understand the laws and how scary these charges can be. Our goal is to get the best possible outcome for you. We know what it takes to challenge assault weapon charges.

With Olen Firm Criminal Defense Lawyers, you have a team that believes in your case and will work tirelessly for you. Contact us today, and let's start defending your future.

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