As of January 01, 2019, California Assembly Bill No. 3129 is in effect. The bill was enacted to modify CA Penal Code § 29805. The new law prohibits firearm possession by those that have committed misdemeanor domestic battery with injury (Penal Code §273.5) for life. A violation of the new domestic violence lifetime ban means the person may be charged with additional offenses for violating the ban as either an additional misdemeanor or even a felony.
What Does this Actually Mean?
In reality, not much. Though, on the surface, one would think that California introduced a harsh, lifetime ban for those convicted of PC § 273.5 after January 1, 2019. For practical purposes, California has only passed a bill to conform closer to the already existing Federal Law banning individuals convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). In essence, California took initiative of implementing its own law—effectively enabling the state to either keep the law at the same prohibition level as the federal ban, or possibly loosen restrictions at a later date. The federal ban is currently more strict than the California ban because it covers all types of domestic violence battery offenses and not only Penal Code 273.5 which requires some sort of injury of the victim. How California will proceed from here is mere speculation. With mass-shootings on the rise, California may be on a collision course with firearms rights advocates and opponents. In the meantime, the responsibility of knowing where one stands in regard to their firearms rights rest solely on that person’s shoulders.
Will This Law Change Affect You?
If you are curious to find out whether you are personally affected by the new California law, you most likely will not be affected. This new law only applies to cases which occurred on or after January 1, 2019. However, if your case was domestic violence related, you are likely already banned from firearm rights possession under federal law. To make sure that you know if your rights are in tact, we recommend hiring an attorney and doing a complete analysis of your record to determine if you are:
- Currently banned,
- Qualified for legal services that would restore your firearms rights, or
- In need of a pardon to restore your rights.
The Law Office of Higbee & Associates has provided countless clients with this Firearm Rights Analysis. If you are in need of and qualify for further legal services, we can advocate for you. Please contact our office to speak with a specialist that can walk you through the process. At Higbee & Associates, we are here to help you. Call (877) 573-7273 to find out more.