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Criminal Defense Blog Post

California Attempts to Reign in the Wild West

California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. To purchase a gun in California, you must pass a written test. Currently, California's Governor Jerry Brown is deciding14 bills designed to enhance the restrictions on guns.

Overview of proposed legislation

One bill waiting for the governor's signature is State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's legislation to outlaw semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and the capability for rapid fire. Senator Steinberg’s bill proposes to redefine an assault weapon as a centerfire, semiautomatic or rimfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds. The proposed legislation would also require existing owners of such weapons to register the weapon by July 1, 2014. 

California already requires purchasers of a handgun to obtain a valid Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC). In order to secure a HSC, a person must score 75 percent or higher on an objective written test on firearm laws and safety requirements. Another bill would obligate all gun owners to obtain such a safety certificate. 

An additional legislative measure waiting for the governor's approval is Senate Bill 755, initiated by Senator Lois Wolk. The legislation would add individuals with two or more drug or alcohol convictions within a three-year period to the list of those subject to a 10-year firearms ban. Federal law already places a lifetime ban from owning possessing firearms on convicted felons, drug addicts, mentally ill and domestic violence offenders and other categories. California added a 10-year prohibition for those convicted of violent misdemeanors. Senator Wolk’s bill would also add to the prohibited category those who have been ordered by a court to receive assisted outpatient treatment for serious mental illness.

Booming gun sales

Statistics show that California gun dealers sold 818,000 guns last year — an increase of 215,000 from the previous year. Some argue the booming sales are a response to the increase in anti-gun legislation. 

If you or a loved one is facing weapons charges, you need to hire experienced California criminal defense attorneys who have experience combatting such allegations. Contact our office today.

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Creech Liebow & Kraus
333 West San Carlos Street, Suite 1600
San Jose, California, 95110-2726 USA