In an effort to help control gun violence, California lawmakers are considering a bill that would place increased regulations on gun ownership for those convicted of minor offenses. A person who has been convicted on a misdemeanor weapons charge may soon be banned from owning or purchasing a gun for a decade. While some believe this is a good move, others are strongly opposed to this change in the law.
The state already has an extensive list of weapons charges that will garner a gun ban. This new proposal, known as SB 347, will make it even longer. Misdemeanor crimes that will be added to this list include:
- Transferring a weapon without the proper license
- Supplying ammunition to a minor
- Supplying ammunition to an individual under the age of 21
- Ammunition possession if prohibited from owning a gun
- Supplying ammunition to a person prohibited from having a firearm
- Carrying an unregistered firearm
This list only represents a small portion of the offenses listed in SB 347. According lawmakers, those convicted on non-violent weapons offenses are more likely to commit violent offenses in the future. The truth is, though, that this cannot be said for everyone, and it is unfair to group all of those convicted of misdemeanor weapons charges into one category.
If this bill passes, numerous individuals may be denied their rights to own firearms. While any sort of weapons charge should be taken seriously, it does not mean that all accusations have merit or that all individuals are risks to public safety. California residents who are accused of minor weapons charges do have the ability to defend themselves in criminal court. With the help of counsel, it will be possible for a person in this position to make informed decisions regarding his or her case and seek a resolution that best protects his or her future interests.
Source: guns.com, "California seeks to put 10-year gun bans on more misdemeanor offenders", Chris Eger State, Aug. 19, 2015