California’s New Firearm Laws in 2020

Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

California is getting new laws in 2020 which further restrict firearm ownership. Here’s a rundown of the three most significant laws.

If you’re already prohibited from owning a firearm in another state, you are prohibited from owning a firearm in California. This law came into play after the tragic Gilroy shooting in 2019. The shooter, only 19 years old, purchased a firearm in Nevada that he would not have been able to purchase or possess in California until he was 21. The new law adds to a broad spectrum of new prohibitions.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you were convicted of a crime in another state, subject to a restraining order in another state, or otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm in another state. Even though California hasn’t expressly prohibited you from owning a firearm, the new California law expressly prohibits you from owning or possessing a gun based on your out-of-state prohibition. This is a misdemeanor offense with up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The important thing here is that if you’re not allowed to own or possess a firearm in another state, even attempting to do so in California is now a violation of the law.

Gun violence restraining orders are being expanded. Starting September 1, 2020, the prohibited period for owning a firearm under a gun violence restraining order is increased up to 7 years. Additionally, teachers, employers, employees and co-workers can petition the court for a gun violence restraining order based on credible threats. Right now only immediate family members and law enforcement officials can file the petition.

Suicide warning labels will be required. Starting on June 1, 2020, suicide warning labels are required to be posted in gun shops, on firearms packages, and will be a required part of the handgun safety certification exam.

“Ghost gun” tracing will be introduced. Beginning in 2023, certain components necessary to build a firearm must be purchased through a licensed dealer. This is to crack down on people assembling unregistered firearms on their own. This law will almost certainly face a court challenge.

Bottom line: If you or a loved one is facing a gun charge in California, do not hesitate to contact criminal defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg in Los Angeles at (323) 633-3423 or get in touch via the secure contact form on this page for a confidential consultation.

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