I'm a Felon, can I own a gun? I was caught with a gun, and I'm not allowed to have them, what happens now? How much trouble am I in for owning a gun when I have a domestic violence charge against me? I was convicted of a violent misdemeanor, and got caught with a gun? Police found a gun at my house, and I'm a felon.
All common scenarios that occur regularly. Many people don't know they can't own a gun, but get in trouble for having one. Sometimes the court didn't even inform the person they couldn't have a gun, but latter they got arrested. Sometimes, the law have changed since the person was convicted, and now they can't own a gun, but never know it. The penal code section below is one of many that explains some of the relevant criteria that must occur before a person loses their constitutional right to own a firearm.
PC 12021 Possession of Firearm by a Felon
(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country or of an offense enumerated in (a), (b), of (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.
(2) Any person who has two or more conviction for violating paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 417 and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who has been convicted of a felony or of an offense enumerated in Section 12001.6, when that conviction results from certification by the juvenile court for prosecution as an adult in an adult court under Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.
(c) (1) Except as provided in Subdivision (a) or paragraph (2) of this subdivision, any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Section 71, 76, 136.1, 136.5, or 140, subdivision (d) of 273.5, 273.6, 417, 417.6 422, 626.9, 646.9, 12023, or 12024, subdivision (b) of Section 12072, subdivision (a) of former Section 12100 section 12220, 12320, or 12590, or Section 8100, 8101, or 8103, of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any firearm-related offense pursuant to Section 871.5 and 1001.5 of the Welfare and institutions code, or of the conduct punished in paragraph (3) Subdivision (g) of Section 12072, and who, within 10 years of the convictions, owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control, any firearm is guilty of a public offense, which shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. The court, on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice, shall notify the department of persons subject to this subdivision.. However, the prohibition in this paragraph may be reduced, eliminated, or conditions as provided by (2) or (3).
(2) Any person employed as a peace officer described in Section 830.1, 830.2, 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, or 830.5 whose employment or livelihood is dependent on the ability to legally possess a firearm, who is subject to the prohibition imposed by this subdivision because of a conviction under Section 273.5, 273.6, or 646.9, may petition the court only once for relief from this prohibition. the petition shall be filed with the court in which the petitioner was sentenced. If possible, the matter shall be heard before the same judge who sentenced the petitioner. Upon fling the petition, the clerk of the court shall set the hearing date and shall notify the petitioner and the prosecuting attorney of the date of the hearing. Upon filing the petition, the clerk of the court shall set the hearing date and shall notify the petitioner and the prosecuting attorney of the date of the hearing. Upon making each of the following findings, the court may reduce or eliminate the prohibition, impose conditions on reduction or elimination of the prohibition, or otherwise grant relief from the prohibition as the court deems appropriate:
(A) Finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the petitioner is likely to use a firearm in a safe and lawful manner.
(B) Finds that the petitioner is not within a prohibited class as specified in subdivision (a), (b), (d), (e) or (g) or Section 12021.1, and the court is not presented with any credible evidence that the petitioner is a person described in Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(c) Finds that the petitioner does not have a previous conviction under this subdivision no matter when the prior conviction occurred.