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Can a Felon Own a Gun in California?
(2024 Laws Explained)

Being convicted of a crime in California can severely affect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In most cases, a conviction for any felony offense will result in a lifetime ban on your ability to own or possess a firearm.
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Felon With a Firearm: Penal Code 29800

In the State of California, one of the consequences of being a convicted felon is that you are prohibited from possessing a firearm for life. This is known as the "felon with a firearm" law, which is codified under California Penal Code 29800 PC.

According to PC 29800,  Any person who was convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, California, or other states, country, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has possession or under custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony crime.

Some key points about the felon with a firearm law:

  • Firearm Prohibition for Felons - California law prohibits people who are convicted of felony offenses from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing firearms.
  • Additional Restrictions - The prohibition on firearm possession may also apply to people who are convicted of certain misdemeanors, domestic violence offenses, and offenses involving drugs or controlled substances.
  • Firearm Surrender - Convicted felons are often required to surrender any firearms they own or possess as part of the sentencing process.

What is the Penalty for a Felon in Possession of a Gun in California?

The possession of a firearm by a felon in California is a serious offense with significant legal consequences, which may include:

  • Fines
  • Prison
  • Additional felony criminal charges related to the unlawful possession of a firearm, which is a violation of Penal Code Section 29800
  • Enhanced penalties
  • Probation / parole violation
  • Additional legal consequences

The specific penalties for the possession of a firearm by a felon in California can vary based on factors such as the individual's criminal history, the circumstances of the offense, and any enhancements that may apply.

When Can a Felon Be Permitted to Possess a Firearm Under Federal Law?

Under federal law, a convicted felon is permitted to possess a firearm when:

  • The conviction has been expunged.
  • The conviction has been set aside.
  • The conviction was pardoned.
  • The felon’s civil rights were restored by the state where the felony occurred.

Convicted of a Felony and Unsure About Your Gun Rights?

If you were convicted of a felony and are unsure about whether you are allowed to own a firearm, you should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. Violating firearm possession laws can result in severe legal consequences, including additional criminal charges and penalties.

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