Barrel of a loaded handgun

Assault & the CA Penal Code

Barrel of a loaded handgunPreppers, farmers, competitive shooters, and all other California citizens who lawfully possess and use firearms should make themselves familiar with prevailing gun laws in their state. This is equally true of assault weapons.

Assault weapon penalties

Under subsections, 30500 to 30530 of the California Penal Code, also known as the Roberti-Roos Act of 1989, and subsections 30600 to 30675, the possession, manufacture, sale, transfer, lending, or giving away of these firearms is punishable by up to eight years in county jail for each weapon and/or a maximum fine of $10,000. Actually using one of these weapons can get you into seriously hot water in the form of an additional and consecutive three to ten years in state prison.  If this happens to you, you will be in need of an experienced bail agent.

Subsections 30600 to 30675 of the California Penal Code refer specifically to the .50 Browning Machine Gun rifle. Penalties for possession and transfer of these are marginally lower than for their assault weapon counterparts. If you are convicted of any Roberti-Roos offense, in addition to the stated penalties, you could face losing the gun and possibly even your right to possess firearms.

Legal possession of assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles

You may legally possess these items if you have a valid permit specifically for assault weapons. A concealed firearms permit is not sufficient to own a .50 BMG rifle or an assault weapon. Also, you must have legally possessed the firearm before it became classified as an assault weapon. There are other limited circumstances under which you may lawfully own one of these weapons. For details of these circumstances, please see the relevant subsections of the California Penal Code.

Definition of an assault weapon

Assault weapons are somewhat loosely defined by the California Attorney General as “highly dangerous” and “unambiguously hazardous.” They are the same types of weapons that soldiers carry into battle. The Penal Code lists more than 70 such pistols, rifles, and shotguns and includes such weapons as the AK series rifles, Uzi submachine guns, and the Striker 12 shotgun. To be on the safe side, if you have an automatic or semi-automatic firearm or a shotgun with a revolving cylinder, check the list.

Some weapons are excluded from the definition of assault weapons. These include antique firearms – those manufactured before January 1, 1899, and pistols that were designed specifically for use in Olympic events.

Posting bail for Roberti-Roos offenses

With the best will in the world, even law-abiding citizens are sometimes arrested in connection with a banned weapon. Friends and family members sometimes wonder whether they should post bail or wait until arraignment and see if the lawyer can get bail reduced. The latter approach means imprisoning an innocent man or woman. If you post bail, you get your money back when the accused goes to court; if you leave them in jail, they will never get that time back.

If you don’t have the resources to bail your buddy out of jail, a bail bond agency can help. They will post the full amount, all you pay is 10 percent plus interest. That is a small price to pay for the freedom of someone you care about.

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