An up-and-coming rapper was recently arrested in Los Angeles on felony gun charges. According to reports, police received a tip that Blueface and a number of other rappers wearing expensive jewelry and showing off a lot of money in a dangerous part of town. Officers, believing that the rappers would be easy targets for robbery, responded to the tips. When they arrived on the scene, Blueface and others attempted to run away and get rid of the weapons they were holding at the time.
Blueface was stopped by police, who discovered that he was in possession of a loaded firearm. He was promptly arrested and is facing felony gun charges.
California Has Strict Gun Laws
The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. However, like other Constitutional Amendments, this right is not without limitations. Some federal and state laws limit the right to own and possess weapons. These laws are permissible if they are intended to protect the public and are not overly burdensome on gun owners.
Over the past few decades, California has implemented some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. These laws regulate:
- Who can possess a firearm
- When and where guns can be carried, and
- How guns can be used.
Violations of these laws can carry harsh and severe consequences.
Gun Possession Laws in California
Who Can and Cannot Possess A Gun?
In California, guns and other firearms can be legally purchased by adults over the age of 21. However, there are limitations to who can purchase and possess a firearm. You may not buy a gun, even if you are over the age of 21, if you:
- Have been convicted of a felony
- Have been convicted of brandishing a weapon at least two times
- Have certain misdemeanor convictions
- Are addicted to certain drugs, including narcotics, or
- Suffer from a mental illness.
Where Can Guns Be Legally Possessed?
If you are legally eligible to purchase and possess a gun, you may:
- Keep it in your home or place of business, or
- Transport it in a locked container.
You may also be able to carry a concealed firearm if you have a concealed weapons permit. This permit is only granted if you are of good moral character, have good cause for needing to conceal a weapon, and have completed mandatory training courses. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit carries severe penalties.
Is It Ever Legal to Possess or Carry a Loaded Gun?
Yes. You can legally carry a loaded weapon if you have a concealed weapons permit. You may also possess a loaded firearm in the safety of your own home or place of business.
If you don’t have a concealed carry permit, you cannot possess a loaded gun in public. Under California Penal Code 25850 PC, it is illegal to “carry a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place.”
How can police know if a firearm is loaded in violation of 25850 PC? State law grants officers the right to examine weapons carried in public or in vehicles in public. If you refuse to let an officer inspect your firearm, you can be arrested for violating the state’s prohibition on carrying a loaded gun in public.
Possession of a loaded weapon can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Misdemeanor: You may be charged with a misdemeanor if this is your first offense and there are no aggravating factors involved in your case. As a misdemeanor, possession of a loaded gun in public is punishable by 12 months in a Los Angeles County Jail, fines, and probation.
Felony: You may be charged with a felony if you have prior misdemeanor or felony convictions or are not the gun’s registered owner. As a felony, possession of a loaded gun in public is punishable by between 16 months and 3 years in a California state prison, fines, and probation.
Once you are convicted of a crime it can be tough to restore your gun rights. Hiring an attorney can help to limit the consequences of your arrest. Call our criminal defense team today to learn more about how we can help you fight gun possession charges in Los Angeles.