Articles Posted in Gun Crimes

Without a doubt, California has the toughest gun laws in the United States. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed several gun control bills into law, making the state’s gun laws even tougher. Effective January 1, 2019, what follows is a summary of the new legislation.

  • Age to buy shotgun or rifle increased to 21: Bill SB100 increased the age for buying a shotgun or rifle in California from 18 to 21. Exceptions are carved out for hunters, police officers, and members of the military.
  • Domestic violence offender lifetime gun ownership ban: Bill AB3129 permanently bans anyone convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanors from owning a firearm for life.
  • Prior mental illness confinement lifetime gun ownership ban: Bill AB1968 permanently bans anyone who has been hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health issues and found to be dangerous to self or other from owning a firearm for life.
  • Mandatory training: Bill AB2103 requires anyone applying for a concealed gun permit to attend an eight-hour gun safety and handling training course or class. The applicant must pass a test that includes fining a gun at a target.
  • Police initiated restraining orders: Police seeking a gun violence restraining order will be permitted to apply for order verbally when there is no time to make written request.
  • Maintenance of lost firearm database: All California law enforcement agencies will be required to input information on lost or stolen guns into a state database within a week of the agency finding out the firearm was missing.
  • “Bump stock” ban: Bill SB1346 bans “bump stocks” which convert semiautomatic rifles to rapid fire machine guns.
  • Ban on possession of ammunition and gun magazines if guns taken away: Bill SB1200, permits judges to order that mentally unstable people whose guns are taken away also be barred from possessing ammunition and gun magazines.

Charged With a Gun Crime in California?

Illegally carrying a firearm in California is a serious offense. If you have been charged with a gun crime in California, you can face either a misdemeanor or felony charge along with heavy fines and years of imprisonment. If you face gun charges in California, consult a qualified San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney who can help mitigate penalties. Continue reading

Every new year, California Governor Jerry Brown sifts through hundreds of bills sent to his desk and signs into law a slew of legislative changes in the criminal law sector for the state. In 2016, Brown saw 1,059 bills come forward, 898 of which he signed into law. He also vetoed 159 and let two become law without signing them. Here are the key laws that will be enacted in 2017 that affect the criminal law sector.

Assault Weapons

As part of a legislative package toughening gun regulations, Senate Bill 880 and Assembly Bill 1135 sought to close a loophole for guns with reloading devices called “bullet buttons.” While California already prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons (defined as those with magazines that can be detached without disassembling the gun), “bullet button” devices quickly release spent magazines to get around the ban. As of the new year, it is now illegal to sell semi-automatic, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that do not have a fixed magazine and also have one from a list of specific features in California.

Changes in Sex Crime Laws

Senate Bill 1322 also took effect at the start of the new year. It prevents law enforcement from charging those under 18 years of age with prostitution or loitering with the intent to commit prostitution and was intended to protect victims of sex trafficking from criminal prosecution. Senate Bill 1129 further removes the mandatory minimum sentencing penalties imposed for repeat prostitution offenders who are 18 years of age or older. This law will give judges more discretion in sentencing on a case by case basis as opposed to hardline penalties.

However, while some criminal reform laws have made things more lenient on certain offenders, other laws, like Assembly Bill 2888 ensures that certain rape cases have mandatory minimum prison sentences that are not suspendable. This was a direct reaction to the lenient sentencing of convicted Standford rapist Brock Turner. Lastly, Assembly Bill 27 will classify all forms of rape as a violent felony.

Uber and Lyft

Companies including Uber and Lyft can no longer hire drivers who are registered sex offenders, have been convicted of violent felonies, or have had a DUI conviction within the last seven years.

Date Rape Drugs

Senate Bill 1182 makes the possession of date rape drugs like Roofies with intent to commit sexual assault a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Continue reading