California already had a number of laws on the books that restrict a person’s ability to possess a firearm based on their criminal record. Specifically, any felony or any act of domestic violence is enough to result in a loss of gun ownership rights. Now the legislature has added an additional crime to that list -any type of hate crime. Peter M. Liss has the details on how the new hate crimes and firearms restrictions work.
Hate Crimes & Your Right to Possess Guns
Before now, getting a felony, a domestic violence or certain weapon-related convictions could result in a person’s losing their right to possess a firearm for ten years. As of January 1, 2018, now a hate crime conviction will also result in the same penalty, as well as interfering with another person’s civil rights (such as stopping someone from voting) or damaging property based on the victim’s perceived race, religion, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. A hate crime can be charged as a misdemeanor on its own or as an enhancement to any felony committed because of hatred, meaning a lawyer could sidestep the gun ban with a plea bargain that results in the hate crime charge being dropped from a set of charges.
Don’t Ignore Firearm Bans
This weapons ban isn’t something to be ignored either, as a violation of the restriction is a felony and will also result in a lifetime ban on firearm ownership. Obviously, if you care about your second amendment rights and are accused of a hate crime, it is critical you speak with a attorney as soon as possible. Speaking to the police without an attorney present could provide them with evidence of your guilt, even if you’re trying to defend yourself against their accusations.
If you have any questions or have been accused of a hate crime, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with tPeter M. Liss.
Creative Commons image Bart Everson