The prevalence of guns in the United States is not up for debate anymore – we hear about them in the news on almost a daily basis. The debate for whether or not we should have more restrictive laws for owning and buying a gun continues on with each side weighing in periodically about their opinion. On a state level, however, California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. These laws regulate the sale, ownership and use of guns and ammunition in the state.
The Process of Gun Ownership in California
In order to own a gun in California you have to take a test that gets you a Firearm Safety Certificate. In order for a store to sell you a gun, it has to first register the gun on the Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. This roster makes it so that the state can track each handgun that is sold legally and that each gun sold legally is tested to be safe. California has a 10-day waiting period before you can lawfully take possession of a gun that you have purchased.
Illegal Gun Sales
There are many ways in which people get guns illegally both in California and in the United States as a whole. These illegal methods of obtaining guns make the weapons easier to come by and because there is no oversight or waiting period they lead to an increase in illegal gun purchases. Each illegal gun purchase that is made can lead to a potentially unstable person from taking possession of a weapon and using it in a dangerous way.
Punishments for Carrying a Gun Without Proper Documentation
California takes its gun laws very seriously. Punishments for carrying or possessing a gun without the proper documentation leads to very strict and sometimes long jail times. The length of time and type of charges are judged by the circumstances of the crime such as what kind of a gun you possessed, where you were when you possessed the weapon, if you had ammunition and how much ammunition you had when you were caught and if there is any way to prove your intentions with the weapon.
Need for an Attorney
If you are caught with a gun that you do not have the proper documentation for, it is important to get an attorney immediately. A criminal defense attorney can help you with any gun possession charges you may face and because he or she knows the law and often has had cases similar to yours they have the experience to back up their knowledge. A good attorney can mean the difference between going home and going to jail at the end of the day. Any attorney you retain will begin by looking at the evidence against you and figuring out the best possible defense considering the circumstances. They will talk to the prosecutors and will be able to best advise you on what steps you should take in order to secure the best possible outcome for you and your family.