If you own a gun, yours is one of nearly 20 million guns that Californians own. Although you have the right to bear arms, there are many situations where the possession or use of a firearm triggers criminal prosecution.

There are certain offenses involving a gun that can get you arrested, requiring the need for a trustworthy defense attorney. According to the State Firearm Laws Database, California has enacted over a hundred laws regarding guns, more than any other state. If you are arrested, you may not even know why, but an experienced Folsom gun lawyer could work with you on your defense.

Who Can and Cannot Own Guns in California?

Generally, any California citizen over 18 is permitted to own a gun. However, there are many exceptions, including the red flag laws that allow neighbors, fellow employees, and others to obtain restraining orders against gun owners who would lose their rights to possess a firearm. Others who cannot own guns are:

  • Convicted felons, no matter where the conviction occurred
  • People addicted to narcotics
  • Those deemed mentally unstable
  • Certain misdemeanor convictions
  • Those who have been convicted of domestic violence or physical abuse crimes, even if they are misdemeanors

Those unsure whether they can own guns in California can check with a Folsom firearms lawyer who can help them apply for a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check (PFEC) with the Department of Justice. The application is only relevant to California law and will not determine eligibility under federal law.

Other Gun Laws That Turn on Interpretation

You may have complied with the laws for a gun you purchased at an out-of-state show, but if you transport it to California, with only a few exceptions, a licensed dealer must receive it and follow California procedures. You are subject to a criminal background check, a 10-day waiting period, and must prove you have a firearms safety certificate.

If someone stored the loaded gun on a shelf and their minor child accessed it without permission, they face criminal penalties depending on what their child did with it. If they brandish the gun, the adult faces a misdemeanor with up to a $1,000 fine, but if there was an injury, they could spend up to three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

If someone shoots a home intruder, the Castle Doctrine says a person has the right to defend themselves on their property. However, that right ceases once the threat of imminent danger subsides. A highly experienced gun attorney in Folsom could rebut the prosecutor to establish innocence or mitigate severe sentences.

Possible Defenses to Gun Crimes

A lawyer could tailor a defense to the specific situation. For instance, the defendant may have believed their life, or another person’s, was in grave danger. They may argue the gun has a faulty firing pin and the discharge was accidental, or the gun is not theirs. Police procedural mistakes could lead to evidence thrown out under the Fourth Amendment and the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine that extends what is inadmissible if it was derived from other inadmissible evidence.

Learn What a Folsom Gun Attorney Could Do For You

With decades of experience helping people like you, our lawyers understand how you must feel after being arrested for a gun crime. If you did not realize you were breaking one of California’s gun laws, or if this is a first offense, you may be wondering what to do next.

We purposely limit our caseload so we have the time to thoroughly investigate yours and give it the attention that it needs. For experienced help and a team that will listen, call us and talk to a Folsom gun lawyer now.