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California Penal Code 23515 PC Offenses that involve the violent use of a firearm

July 8, 2021 California Penal Code

The statute in California law that imposes a lifetime ban on possessing, owning or purchasing firearms for certain felons is Penal Code 23515 PC.

California Penal Code 23515 says:

 

As used in the provisions listed in Section 16580, an offense that involves the violent use of a firearm includes any of the following:

(a) A violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 245 or a violation of subdivision (d) of Section 245.

(b) A violation of Section 246.

(c) A violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 417.

(d) A violation of subdivision (c) of Section 417.

 

Persons convicted of one of the offenses enumerated in PC 23515 live under firearm bans. The length of the ban is decided on the basis of the crime:

  1. Assault with a firearm – PC 245(a)(2) Length of ban: life, whether the charge is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor.
  2. Assault with a machinegun, an assault weapon, or a .50 BMG rifle – PC 245(a)(3) Length of ban: life.
  3. Assault on a peace officer or firefighter with a firearm – PC 245(d)(1)* Length of ban: life.
  4. Assault on a peace officer or firefighter with a semi-automatic firearm – PC 245(d)(2)* Length of ban: life.
  5. Assault on a peace officer or firefighter with a machinegun, assault weapon, or a .50 BMG rifle – PC 245(d)(3)* Length of ban: life.
  6. Maliciously and willfully discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling house, occupied building, occupied motor vehicle, occupied aircraft, inhabited house or car – PC 246^ Length of ban: life whether the charge is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor.
  7. Drawing or exhibiting any firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner in the presence of another person; or
  8. Unlawfully using a firearm in any fight or quarrel – PC 417(a)(2) Length of ban: ten years. But two or more convictions carry a lifetime ban.
  9. Drawing or exhibiting any firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner in the presence of a peace officer – PC 417(c)* Length of ban:  life whether the charge is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor.

*In these cases, it matters whether the defendant knew – or reasonably should have known – that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties.

^Inhabited refers to the state of currently being used for dwelling purposes, whether it was occupied or not at the time the offense was committed.

You may notice that all but one of the crimes enumerated in PC 23515 carries a lifetime ban from possessing, owning, or purchasing firearms. The one that has a ten-year ban is PC 417(a)(2): Brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner to a non-peace officer, or using a firearm during a fight.

 

If you violate a lifetime firearm ban, you have committed a felony in California under PC 29800 punishable by 16 months, two years, or three years in California State Prison, and/or Up to $10,000 in fines

Violating a ten-year firearm ban is a misdemeanor  in California under PC 29805 carrying up to a year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

Contact the California criminal defense attorneys at Spodek Law Group for your free, confidential consultation today!

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