Criminal Defense Attorney in Sacramento Richard Dudek


California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. It can be difficult to keep track of all the specific laws and their consequences. Here’s a broad overview of some of the more common gun violations and weapons charges one might face in the state of California but only an experienced criminal defense attorney in Sacramento can provide the legal assistance you need.

Concealed Firearms

Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of California Penal Code 25400 PC is a misdemeanor that may result in the following consequences:

  • Up to a year in jail
  • Up to $1000 in fines

Though this is somewhat lenient, some circumstances paired with carrying a concealed firearm make this violation a felony. Conditions that could increase the severity of the charge include:

  • Having a prior felony conviction or a conviction for a firearm offense in the state of California
  • Carrying a concealed firearm that you knew, or should have reasonably known, was stolen
  • It is determined the person with the concealed weapon is involved in a criminal street gang
  • You do not lawfully possess the firearm
  • You are strictly prohibited from possessing a firearm under California’s felon with a firearm law
  • You are strictly prohibited from possessing a firearm under Penal Code 29900 PC for committing or attempting to commit a violent offense

Felony charges for possession of a concealed firearm may be punishable by the following:

  • Up to three years in county jail
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Carrying a Loaded Gun in Public

Penal Code 25850 PC prohibits the possession of a loaded firearm in public spaces. This includes carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, except when it is in the trunk or another locked container. A firearm is considered loaded when it contains an unspent cartridge or shell in the firing chamber, magazine, clip, or any other attachment associated with the firearm. This charge may be brought against an individual even if the firearm is inoperable. The individual must knowingly have a loaded firearm with them to be in violation of this law. If you did not know there was a loaded gun in the car you are driving, you are not guilty of this offense. Consider contacting a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento depending on your circumstances.

It is important to note that unlike some other states, California does not have an “open carry” law that permits individuals to carry weapons so long as they are visible. Openly carried firearms are not permitted, whether they are loaded or not.

The punishments for carrying a loaded firearm are the same as those for carrying a concealed firearm. If the firearm is both loaded and concealed, you can be charged with both crimes (unless you have a valid firearm carry permit). Speak to a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento if you have any specific questions as it pertains to your case.

Generally Prohibited Weapons

There are several weapons that are just not permitted within the boundaries of the state of California. These weapons and weapon-affiliated accessories include but are not limited to the following:

  • Camouflaging firearm containers
  • Cane gun
  • Firearms that aren’t obviously firearms
  • Large capacity magazines
  • Multiburst trigger activators
  • Short-barreled rifles
  • Short-barreled shotguns
  • Unconventional pistols
  • Undetectable firearms
  • Wallet guns
  • Zip guns

The following actions in association with these weapons and their accessories are prohibited:

  • Manufacturing
  • Cause to be manufactured
  • Importing into California
  • Possessing for sale
  • Offering or exposure for sale
  • Gifting
  • Lending
  • Possession in general

These violations are considered wobbler offenses, meaning they can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It is punishable by the loss of the weapon or accessory as well as:

  • Up to one year in jail when prosecuted as a misdemeanor
  • Up to three years in county jail when prosecuted as a felony

If you have been charged a gun carrying violation, contact a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento.

Penal Code 30600 PC – Ban on assault weapons and rifles

The manufacturing, selling and possession of assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles is prohibited without a valid permit. A .50 BMG rifle is a centerfire rifle (not a machine gun or assault weapon) that is capable of firing a .50 BMG cartridge. There are over 50 specific gun models that are considered assault weapons, such as:

  • All AK series rifles
  • Uzis
  • Colt AR-15 series semiautomatic rifles.

Assault weapon possession is considered a wobbler and may be punishable by:

  • Up to one year in county jail for a misdemeanor charge
  • Up to three years in county jail for a felony charge

Possession of a .50 BMG rifle is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Up to $1000 in fines

Additional actions that are prohibited regarding the .50 BMG rifle include its:

  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Transport
  • Import into California
  • Sale
  • Gifting
  • Lending

These behaviors may be punishable by up to 8 years in county jail. If you have been charged with any type of gun violation, contact a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento immediately.

Seek Legal Assistance from an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

This is only a small fraction of all laws related to firearms and other weapons in the state of California. The laws can be wide-ranging and quite complicated. Be sure to seek legal representation from a highly skilled criminal defense attorney in Sacramento if you or a loved one is facing any sort of gun violation or weapons charges. Be sure to find someone with experience and knowledge in this particular area of law.

Call a Criminal Defense Attorney in Sacramento if You’ve Been Charged for Gun Violations

We understand how a criminal record can drastically change your life for the worse. With our team of highly skilled professionals, you can trust your case to be in exceptionally good legal hands. Give us a call at (916) 444-7595 to speak to a criminal defense attorney in Sacramento.


The Law Offices of Richard Dudek offers comprehensive criminal defense from the beginning of your case through the final appeal. Let our criminal lawyer in Sacramento defend your rights. Contact us online or by telephone at (916) 444-7595 to arrange a personal consultation with Richard Dudek today.

901 H Street, Suite 310
Sacramento, CA 95814 US
Phone: (916) 444-7595

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