New California Gun Laws Enter into Effect

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As of January 1, 2018, a number of new laws entered into effect regarding gun ownership and ammunition sales in California, some of which have significant effects on persons convicted of a crime. Learn more about these changes in the law below, and contact a California criminal defense attorney with any additional questions.

In November of 2016, Californians passed Proposition 63, a bill that included a number of changes to the state’s laws regarding how weapons are turned over after a criminal conviction. Laws enacted by this proposition began to enter effect in July of 2017, with others in effect as of the beginning of 2018, and yet others to enter into effect in 2019. As of now, Californians are no longer allowed to purchase ammunition online to be shipped directly to them, nor can they purchase new assault rifles. Beginning in 2019, Californians will need to pass a background check to purchase ammunition.

Weapon relinquishment after conviction

Most relevant to Californians with criminal convictions is the new law on gun relinquishment. California has long required that persons convicted of a serious crime, including a crime of domestic violence, turn over any firearms they own after their conviction. While the names of persons who are not allowed to own weapons is maintained in a California Department of Justice database (the Armed Prohibited Persons, or APPS list), the state did not have an enforcement mechanism to ensure that this turnover actually occurred.

Proof of sale or transfer must be provided after conviction

Under the new law, it is the person convicted of the crime who will need to prove that they got rid of their weapon. As of January 1, persons who have been convicted of one of a list of crimes that results in the loss of firearm privileges, such as a felony, misdemeanor involving violence, domestic abuse, or illegal weapon use, will need to prove that they sold or transferred ownership of their weapon within a set time period after their conviction. The convicted person’s case won’t be fully disposed of until the probation officer and court have confirmed that the person has gotten rid of their weapon. If proof of sale or transfer isn’t provided to the court, the court can take additional action to recover any weapons registered to that person.

If you’re facing criminal charges in California and want aggressive and effective legal representation to protect your constitutional rights, contact the Ventura Law Office of Paul Tyler for a free consultation at 805-889-9000.

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