It is all too common for a person to break a firearm law without realizing they are doing so. Generally speaking, when the average person hears “arms trafficking,” they think of a criminal mastermind who is trafficking nuclear weapons or at least a semi-truck full of guns and grenades. In California, much less than this can fall into the category.
California Gun Laws Are Strict
No matter how you look at it, the gun restrictions in California are significant. It is true that the federal constitution protects a person’s right to own a firearm, but it is also true that state laws restrict how that right can be used. This is never more true than when discussing selling a gun.
Understanding Arms Trafficking
Arms trafficking is a serious offense that can lead to months in jail. The law makes it illegal for a person to sell, lease, or transfer a firearm without having the proper license to do so. Also known as gun running, arms trafficking involves selling, buying, or transportation a gun or ammunition without having the right license. Anyone who wants to legally sell a gun in this state is required to have the right paperwork and license to do so. If they do not, then they could be charged with arms trafficking.
Potential Consequences for a Conviction of Arms Trafficking
A person convicted of arms trafficking could face six months in county jail and fines of as much as $1,000. If there are certain aggravating factors involved, such as a previous conviction for a firearms violation, then the sentence could be even longer.
How to Legally Sell a Gun in the State of California
You may wonder: if certain ways of selling a gun are considered arms trafficking, does that mean that I can never sell a gun? No – but you must follow California laws to do so legally. This means selling the firearm through a licensed dealer. If you sell or give away a firearm that does not have a license, this could be considered arms trafficking.
Licensed dealers are also required to wait ten days before handing the gun over and to conduct a background check on their customers. If they fail to do either of these steps, they could be found guilty of arms trafficking even though they are licensed to sell guns in the state of California.
Arms Trafficking is Often an Accident
A person who had never heard of the laws around arms trafficking might assume that it is virtually impossible to be found guilty of or even accused of arms trafficking due to a mistake. However, the law is so strict that this does happen. If it has happened to you, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to request a free legal consultation.