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Many Americans are enthusiastic supporters of the Second Amendment. However, citizens do not have the right to keep and bear arms without restrictions. In California, the law has identified certain generally prohibited weapons. It is a crime for most people to manufacture, possess, sell or otherwise have access to these illegal weapons. If you have been accused of possessing illegal weapons, then you need to speak with a capable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.
Which Weapons Are Generally Prohibited in California?
A multitude of weapons is included on California’s list of generally prohibited weapons. These include ballistic knives and switchblades in addition to air gauge knives. Flechette darts, which sometimes have the ability to pierce armor, are also prohibited. Weapons like swords and guns that are concealed in canes are similarly illegal as is a concealed dagger. Possession of firearms that cannot be immediately identified as guns and large capacity magazines can also land someone on the wrong side of the law. Brass knuckles, nunchuks, short-barreled shotguns and zip guns are all prohibited under the law. If you’re facing charges based on the use, possession or offer for sale of any of these weapons, contact our Los Angeles illegal weapons defense attorneys. They can help you strategize an effective defense that may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.
Illegal Activities Related to California’s Generally Prohibited Weapons
Several specific activities are prohibited under the state’s generally prohibited weapons law. It is not legal to import such a weapon into the state nor is it permissible to hold the weapon even if you’re planning to sell it. It is likewise illegal to give or lend such a weapon to someone else. Manufacturing illegal weapons or causing someone else to manufacture them for you is similarly prohibited. Even possessing such a weapon may be the basis of being charged with an illegal weapons offense. Having the weapon at home and having no plans to use it is not accepted as an excuse by the police. If you have been accused of possessing, manufacturing, lending or importing an illegal weapon, contact the Los Angeles prohibited weapons attorneys at this firm for immediate advice.
Exceptions to the Generally Prohibited Weapons Law
Like most laws involving weapons, the law against generally prohibited weapons is complicated. For instance, martial arts training schools are permitted to have and use nunchuks and throwing stars. Use of such weapons, in the unloaded state, is permissible for movie and television productions. Dealers who buy and sell antique or curio firearms or other weapons are legally allowed to do so. Moreover, a person or organization may seek authorization from the Department of Justice that would allow them to transport, possess or manufacture short-barreled shotguns. A person who possesses such a weapon but is in the process of turning it over to police is not guilty of breaking the law.
It is important to be mindful of the fact that these exemptions are very specific. Each one has loopholes that may lead law enforcement to try to press charges when they are not appropriate. Please contact the illegal weapons possession attorneys at this office if you have been accused of illegal possession and you believe that you should be exempted from the law.
Elements the Prosecution Needs for Illegal Weapons Charges
In addition to possessing the illegal weapon, the prosecution must prove that you knew it was a weapon or that it was capable of being used as a weapon. If you did not recognize it as a weapon, then you cannot be guilty of breaking the law. Someone who bought a cool new belt buckle without realizing that it concealed a small firearm would have a viable defense to illegal weapons possession charges. Accordingly, anyone who is accused of this crime but was actually unaware that they were carrying a weapon needs to contact a good Los Angeles criminal defense attorney immediately.
Penalties for Breaking California’s Law Against Generally Prohibited Weapons
Violating California Penal Code 16590 is a “wobbler” offense. This means that prosecutors may charge it at the misdemeanor or felony level. Someone convicted at the misdemeanor level may be facing one year in a county facility and as much as $1,000 in fines. At the felony level, the defendant may have to spend up to three years in a county facility and pay a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
The District Attorney may consider the precise circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history when deciding whether to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges. An aggressive defense provided by a Los Angeles illegal weapons possession lawyer may make it possible to have the charges against you reduced or dropped. Call today to learn more about how a California criminal defense lawyer can help you.
Contact a Los Angeles Illegal Weapons Lawyer
Illegal weapons offenses bring serious consequences. Moreover, these charges are sometimes accompanied by additional charges like assault, parole violations and brandishing, to name a few. The result of a conviction on these charges may impact the rest of your life, especially if the charges are a felony. You need a competent California criminal defense lawyer working for you.
Call or click to speak with one of our experienced Los Angeles illegal weapons defense lawyers. We provide a zealous defense and don’t rest until we obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.