It is written in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution that "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." That is one of the many reasons why many of the population either has access to or knows anyone who owns a firearm. Because of that, gun ownership is seen as a huge responsibility. Licensed owners should follow the standards in regards to proper storing and handling of their personal weaponry. One of the major proponents that supports responsible gun handling is California Penal Code 25100 PC. That is to avoid a plethora of dire consequences that might occur when the said gun is stored improperly.
Whats is the penal code PC 25100
PC 25100 is a statute that states the three different degrees of Criminal gun storage.
- 1st degree violation: A child accessed the weapon in question and he/she either caused bodily injury to him/herself or someone else.
- 2nd degree violation: The weapon in question was accessed by a child and either caused injury to him/herself or someone else, or the child took the gun to a public place and brandished the weapon
- 3rd degree violation: The accused neglectfully stored the weapon where he/she knew that a child could have access to it.
How to Properly Store a firearm:
As recommended by California's Attorney general, a firearm should be stored:
In a property/building:
- Make sure that the gun is not loaded
- Make sure that the gun in a locked container
- Make sure that the container is in a secure location
In a vehicle:
- The gun should not be loaded
- The gun should be locked in the trunk or in any locked container in the vehicle
- The gun should not be concealed or intentionally hidden
Punishments for Violating PC 25100
Alleged violators that are proven guilty of violating pc 25100 will be facing misdemeanor charges. A misdemeanor is a crime that usually comes with a sentence that lasts 365 days or less in county jail; it is more severe than an infraction but less severe than a felony. The punishment includes:
- Jail time of 6 (six) months up to a year, and/or,
- A fine of up to $1,000 (one thousand dollars) or more.
However, the level of severity increases from misdemeanor if a child or another adult (not the owner) gains access to the firearm and it causes injury or death. If that ever becomes the case, the penalty can become a felony instead of a misdemeanor. A felony is a crime that usually comes with a sentence of more than 365 days in a state prison. The punishment includes:
- Jail time of 16 (sixteen) months up to 3 (three) years, and/or,
- A fine of up to $10,000 (ten thousand dollars) or more.
Other Related Offenses
- PC 273a – Child Endangerment (exposing a child under legal age to pain, torment, and risk)
- PC 25850 – Carrying a Loaded Firearm (carrying a firearm loaded with ammunition in public)
- PC 25400 – Carrying a Concealed Weapon (having a concealed firearm in his/her person; this applies to any kind of firearms)
In the state of California, convicted violators can face serious charges depending on the severity of the outcomes of the violation. These charges can be permanently added to their personal records. A tarnished criminal record can result in a hard time applying for social, civil, or employment opportunities. They can also affect one's credibility when trying to get/renew gun licenses. Because of those reasons, it would be in the accused's best interest to hire the assistance of a competent defense lawyer. A good lawyer might include some of these conditions to support the case of the defendant:
- The defendant kept the firearm in a locked and secured container,
- The defendant's firearm was either stolen or forcibly taken, and/or
- The defendant was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure.
If you or anyone you know ever had the misfortune of being wrongfully accused of violating California's Gun Storage Laws PC 25100, it would be beneficial for your party to seek for professional help from our credible roster of criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office or Raoul Severo.
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