Firearm Offenses: California Penal Code 12020         

At the Law Offices of David S. Chesley, we have many years of experience defending those charged with a variety of firearm offenses, including the following:

  • Assault with the use of a gun or other firearm
  • Simple possession of an unlicensed firearm also known as firearm possession without a legal permit is a felony. The minimum sentence for simple possession of an unlicensed firearm has just increased from one year in prison to three and half years. It must be loaded and outside your home or place of business to qualify for these punishments; otherwise, it is a misdemeanor.
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm
  • Possessing a firearm when a convicted felon
  • Possession of firearms illegal in the state of California (possession of an assault weapon) is a felony, whether or not it is loaded and whether or not you had an intention to use it.
  • Possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, such a magazine for a pistol that can hold more than ten rounds, is a felony.
  • Sale of firearms or selling a firearm llegally is an especially complex area; there are restrictions on selling guns to minors, secondary sales, etc. It is a felony to sell firearms without a license.
  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a legal permit to do so
  • Transporting firearms illegally

Other crimes can result in enhanced sentences simply if they involve the use of a gun. If you have a loaded firearm during a robbery, you can get up to 25 years in prison. Even if you just pretend you have a gun, you can get up to 15 years in prison.

One of the main criminal law Code sections dealing with firearms in California is California Penal Code section 12020, which is shown here below.

California Penal Code § 12020. Manufacture, importation, sale, possession;

(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:

(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state,
keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses
any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not
immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any
ammunition which contains or consists of any fléchette dart, any bullet
containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst
trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-
barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any
zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any
cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any
metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any
instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot,
billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.