Unlicensed Sale of Firearms in California

According to California Law (Penal Code 26500 PC) to sell, to lease or transfer firearms without a valid permit is a crime. Although this law seems relatively simple, Penal Code 26500 and related statutes are full of exemptions and conditions.

1. The Unlicensed Sale of Firearms under California Penal Code 26500 PC
2. What is a Firearm under California Law?
3. Can I Legally Own or Possess a Gun in California?
4. Gun Sales Complement in California
a) Generally prohibited weapons
5. Is it Possible to Sell a Gun to Someone in Another State?
6. May I Lawfully Transfer a Firearm to a Friend who Resides in a Different State?
7. What Penalties Can I Face for the Unlicensed Sale of a Gun in California?
8. Defenses to California’s Law Against the Unlicensed Sale of Firearms
9. Related Articles

In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning firearm charges in California for free.

1. The unlicensed sale of firearms under California Penal Code 26500 PC
According to California Law (Penal Code 26500(a)), it is prohibited for anyone from selling, leasing, or transferring firearm without a license for that action. Even then, the transfer must be for the special types of firearm authorized under the permit.

2. What is a Firearm under California Law?
Any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile, by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion is considered to be a gun or firearm under California Law.
“Firearms” often generically referred to as “guns” include (but are not limited to):
· pistols, revolvers, handguns, rifles (including short-barreled rifles), shotguns (including short-barreled shotguns) and the frame or receiver of any of the above.
· rockets, rocket propelled projectile launchers, and similar devices containing an explosive or incendiary material.

3. Who can legally own or possess a gun in California?
In California, there are certain classes of persons who are prohibited from possessing a firearm:
· Any person who is convicted of a crime punished by prison time more than one (1) year, another saying if a felon cannot possess a firearm under California law,
· Any person who convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes,
· Any person who addicted to a narcotic drug.
Anyone else may possess a firearm or ammunition (except armor piercing ammunition) with the only requirement to possess a valid handgun safety certificate.

Note: However, even these exceptions have exceptions. This is why it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney when being charged with a firearm or weapon offense.

4. How must the sales be completed?
In some states it is allowed to sell firearms in newspaper ads, online, and even at garage sales. These unlicensed individuals are free from conducting background checks of their buyers which makes the selling of guns easy to people for whom possessing or owning firearms is prohibited.

In California it is obligatory that all transactions involving firearms must be completed through a licensed dealer. Even the exceptions must ultimately be brokered through licensed dealers. Unlicensed individuals can arrange for the sale, lease, or transfer of firearms but a licensed dealer must be involved to complete the transaction.

a) Generally prohibited weapons
Note: Having a license but selling illegal firearms you break the law.
Illegal firearms include (but are not limited to) guns classified under California’s assault weapons laws, including . 50 BMG rifles (unless you have a permit for such weapons specifically), and “generally prohibited weapons” (hidden knives, nunchakus and metal knuckles and unconventional guns and firearm accessories, including short-barreled shotguns and rifles).
Breaking one of the above laws can cause prosecution and revocation of firearms license. Similarly, failing to keep any licensing requirements will cause revocation of California license to sell firearms. And according to California Law (Penal Code Section 26500) selling, leasing, or transferring firearms without a license will result in prosecution.
Another way of loosing license is by failing to conduct a legitimate background check before selling firearms to an individual. If you avoid it (or you sell, lease, or transfer a firearm to someone who fails that check) the state could revoke your California license to sell firearms.
And if you continue selling, leasing, or transferring firearms after your license has been revoked, you subject yourself to prosecution.

5. Is it Possible to Sell a Gun to Someone in Another State?

If the buyer is not prohibited by law from receiving or possessing a firearm, you may sell a firearm to an unlicensed resident of your State or to a licensee in any State. A firearm may not be transferred interstate to a licensed collector.

Here are the steps the seller must do before selling firearms:
· to check the receiver is a licensed dealer by asking FFL (Federal Firearms License) Number,
· to verify the license and address through Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ”ATF” FFL Ez Check Site,
· print the screen get,
· then legally ship the gun to the receiver, but only at the address verified
The buyer then must fill out the forms and pass the background check to complete the process.

6. May I Lawfully Transfer a Firearm to a Friend who Resides in another State?

According to Federal Law, it is prohibited to transfer a firearm to an individual who does not reside in the State where the transferee resides if you are an unlicensed individual. To transfer a firearm lawfully to an unlicensed person who is a resident of another State, the firearm must be shipped to a FFL within the recipient’s State of residence and after be received from the FFL after completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check.

· Temporary loans or rentals of firearms for lawful sporting purposes are not prohibited according to the Gun Control Act (GCA);
· Transfers of firearms to non-residents to carry out a lawful bequest or acquisition by intestate succession. This exception would authorize the transfer of a firearm to a nonresident in the case of inheritance.

7. Penalties for the unlicensed sale of a gun under California Penal Code 26500
According to California Law the unlicensed sale of a firearm is a crime. You can face up to six (6) months in county jail and/or up to $1,000 fine if convicted under PC 26500. The punishment is for each firearm you sell without a valid permit.

8. Defenses to Penal Code 26500 PC
An experienced and professional California defense attorney can use various legal defenses in order to reduce or dismiss your charge. Below, we represent some of them.
False confessions
False accusations
Plea bargain and dismissals

9. Realted articles

Firearm Offenses

Gang-Related Firearm Enhancement

Possession of a Firearm without a Permit

Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Possession of Firearm by Person Prohibited Due to Conviction

The Margarian Law Firm  aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Direct approach with our clients allows us to easily obtain dismiss or reduction of the charges. Additionally, we provide a flat fee agreed upon before we begin. Feel free to contact us!
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