Manufacturing, Selling Or Possessing Dangerous Weapons
The Second Amendment protects your right to bear arms. However, as with all other Constitutional rights, there are certain limitations. California has some of the strictest gun and weapon laws in the country. While you do have to arm yourself, state law places certain restrictions on the types of weapons you can own.
Have you been arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon in Los Angeles? The state does not take gun crime lightly. You could face up to three years in prison if you are convicted. Hiring an attorney to handle your defense will help you secure the best possible result in your case. Contact the Rodriguez Law Group for immediate legal assistance. We offer a free consultation and are here to answer any questions you have.
California Penal Code Section 16590 PC
Certain weapons are considered to be too dangerous for personal use. These dangerous weapons are designated as “generally prohibited weapons” in California Penal Code Section 16590 PC. You can face criminal charges if you manufacture, sell, and/or possess any of the dangerous weapons listed in 16590 PC.
Generally Dangerous Weapons
It is a violation of California state law to manufacture, sell, or possess any of the following dangerous weapons:
- Air gauge knife
- Ammunition that contains or consists of a flechette dart
- Ballistic knife
- Belt buckle knife
- Bullet containing an explosive agent
- Camouflaging firearm container
- Cane gun
- Cane sword
- Concealed dirk or dagger
- Concealed explosive substance, other than ammunition
- Firearm that may not be immediately recognizable as a gun
- Large-capacity machine
- Leaded cane
- Lipstick case knife
- Metal knuckles
- Genuine or replica military grenades
- Multiburst trigger activator
- Short barreled shotgun or rifle
- Unconventional pistol
- Undectible firearm
- Wallet gun
- Writing pen knife, or a
- Zip gun.
As you can see, generally prohibited weapons are not limited to guns. Other items, including knives and ammunition, are also considered to be unreasonably dangerous weapons.
What Can’t I Do With a Generally Prohibited Weapon?
California Penal Code 16590 PC is quite expansive. Under this section, it is a crime to knowingly engage in any of the following behaviors with a generally prohibited weapon:
- Cause to be manufactured
- Import into the state of California
- Keep for sale
- Offer for sale
- Expose for sale
- Lend, or
In other words, you are in violation of the law if you knowingly have a generally dangerous weapon.
What Does the State Have to Prove?
Just because you’ve been arrested for a crime doesn’t mean that you will be convicted. The state has the burden of convincing a judge or jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to do this, the prosecution must prove:
- You manufactured, sold, or possessed
- A generally prohibited weapon
- You did so knowingly, and
- You didn’t have a lawful reason or excuse to have the weapon.
Possession: You will be considered to have possession of a generally dangerous weapon if you have the ability to exercise control over the item. Possession can be actual or constructive. Actual possession occurs when you are in physical contact with the dangerous weapon. Constructive possession occurs when you have the ability to control the dangerous weapon, even if it is not in your immediate presence.
Generally Prohibited Weapon: Any dangerous weapon listed in 16590 PC.
Knowledge: Knowledge is an essential element of this crime. You must (a) know that you are in possession of the weapon AND (b) know that the item you have can be used as a weapon. You cannot be convicted of this crime if you lacked this knowledge.
Lawful Excuse: There are certain exceptiosn to the restrictions on generally prohibited weapons. Historians, antique collectors, educational institutions, and martial arts academies can request legal authorization to possess these items
Penalties for Crimes Involving Generally Prohibited Weapons
Manufacturing, selling, or possessing a dangerous weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The charges will often depend on mitigating and aggravating factors that are relevant to your case. These may include:
- Prior weapons-related convictions
- Whether you manufactured, sold, or simply possessed the prohibited weapon, and
- Whether your weapon was used in the commission (or attempted commission) of a crime.
Generally Prohibited Weapons Crimes as a Misdemeanor
When charged as a misdemeanor, manufacturing, selling, or possessing a generally prohibited weapon is punishable by:
- 12 months in a Los Angeles County prison
- $1,000 in fines, and/or
- Summary probation.
Generally Prohibited Weapons Crimes as a Felony
When charged as a felony, manufacturing, selling, or possessing a generally prohibited weapon is punishable by:
- A maximum of 3 years in a California state prison
- $10,000 in fines, and/or
- Formal probation.
You will lose your right to own or possess a firearm for life if you are convicted of this felony.
Defending Charges for Manufacturing, Selling, or Possessing a Dangerous Weapon
Prosecutors have the burden of proving that you are guilty of a crime involving a generally prohibited weapon. You can make their job much more difficult by asserting a strong and persuasive defense. Your defense should explain, excuse, and/or justify your alleged criminal behavior.
Defenses that may be helpful in your criminal case include:
- Lack of required knowledge
- The weapon you possessed was not a generally dangerous weapon, as defined in 16590 PC
- You didn’t possess the weapon, or
- You had a permit or authorization to possess the weapon.
Was the dangerous weapon discovered during an illegal search or unlawful arrest? The state shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from violating your rights. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will file a motion to suppress any evidence that was obtained illegally. If the motion is granted, the state won’t be allowed to use that evidence against you. Without this evidence, prosecutors may be forced to drop the charges or consider a plea.
Call Our Los Angeles Weapons Defense Lawyers For Help
Are you facing criminal charges for a crime related to a generally prohibited weapon? Contact the criminal defense lawyers at the Rodriguez Law Group for help. We’ve been successfully handling complex criminal cases on both sides of the law for more than two decades.
Prosecutorial experience gives us a unique advantage when defending criminal charges. We’ll draw on this experience to secure the best possible result in your case. Call our Los Angeles defense attorneys to schedule a free consultation and learn more.