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Possession of a Firearm

  • California Penal Code Section 12031

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California Bondsman for Possession of a Firearm / PC 12031

California Penal Code Section 12031

(a) (1) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when he or she carries a loaded firearm on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.

(2) Carrying a loaded firearm in violation of this section is punishable, as follows:

(A) Where the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by this chapter, as a felony.

(B) Where the firearm is stolen and the person knew or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen, as a felony.

(C) Where the person is an active participant in a criminal street gang, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 186.22, under the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 186.20) of Title 7 of Part 1), as a felony.

(D) Where the person is not in lawful possession of the firearm, as defined in this section, or is within a class of persons prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm pursuant to Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as a felony.

(E) Where the person has been convicted of a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug violation, by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(F) Where the person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11106, as the registered owner of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both that fine and imprisonment.

(G) In all cases other than those specified in subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, as a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(3) For purposes of this section, “lawful possession of the firearm” means that the person who has possession or custody of the firearm either lawfully acquired and lawfully owns the firearm or has the permission of the lawful owner or person who otherwise has apparent authority to possess or have custody of the firearm. A person who takes a firearm without the permission of the lawful owner or without the permission of a person who has lawful custody of the firearm does not have lawful possession of the firearm.

(4) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under Sections 12021 and 12021.1 of this code, Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or any other law with a greater penalty than this section.

(5) (A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 836, a peace officer may make an arrest without a warrant:

(i) When the person arrested has violated this section, although not in the officer’s presence.

(ii) Whenever the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has violated this section, whether or not this section has, in fact, been violated.

(B) A peace officer may arrest a person for a violation of subparagraph (F) of paragraph (2), if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person is carrying a loaded pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in violation of this section and that person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106 as the registered owner of that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

(6) (A) Every person convicted under this section who has previously been convicted of an offense enumerated in Section 12001.6, or of any crime made punishable under this chapter, shall serve a term of at least three months in a county jail, or, if granted probation or if the execution or imposition of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that he or she be imprisoned for a period of at least three months.

(B) The court shall apply the three-month minimum sentence except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence without the minimum imprisonment required in this subdivision or by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence with conditions other than those set forth in this subdivision, in which case, the court shall specify on the record and shall enter on the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interests of justice would best be served by that disposition.

(7) A violation of this section which is punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year shall not constitute a conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year for the purposes of determining federal firearms eligibility under Section 922(g)(1) of Title 18 of the United States Code.