Sec 12020 of the California Penal Code prohibits the manufacture, sale and/or possession of certain firearms, explosives or other weapons, such as nunchakus, brass knuckles, short barreled shotguns, dirks and daggers.

This law punishes two different crimes, namely the manufacture, sale or possession of twenty (20) or so named weapons. The second crime is all about the carrying of concealed explosive devices, dirks and/or daggers.

In order to be convicted of the first crime covered under this law, the following facts must be proven beyond reasonable doubt:

• The individual manufactured, imported, sold, gave, lent and/or possessed;
• A firearm defined as “”any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any fléchette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multi-burst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice hand grenade or metal replica hand grenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, billy club, sand club, sap, or sandbag…or any large-capacity magazine”;
• The accused knowingly did or knew the object was capable of being used as a weapon or is an actual weapon.

The law provides twenty (20) types of weapons considered as illegal. These are as follows:

• Firearms, as defined by law as 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 ;
• Firearm equipment and ammunition;
• Knives and swords;
• Martial arts weapons;
• “Other” weapons;

This crime can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. Two factors determine its prosecution, namely the factual circumstances of the case and the accused’s criminal history.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the following penalties are imposable:

• Summary Probation;
• Incarceration of up to one (1) year in a county prison facility;
• Payment of a fine of up to $1,000;

If charged as a felony, the following penalties are imposable:

• Formal Probation;
• Incarceration of up to one (1) year in a county prison facility (if probation granted) or between sixteen (16) months to three (3) years in a state prison facility (if probation is not granted);
• Payment of a fine of up to $10,000;

Other penalties include confiscation of the weapon or weapons. For legal immigrants or legal aliens, the additional penalty of deportation is applicable.

The sale, manufacture or possession of dangerous weapons is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.