Houman Fakhimi

Weapons Arrests in Newport Beach Likely to Spike Amid Gun Control Fervor

The same day President Barack Obama announced a host of executive actions and legislative initiatives to crack down on nationwide gun possession, a Los Angeles city councilman announced his support of a measure to ban high-capacity magazines.

Newport Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Houman Fakhimi understands the subject is a sensitive one following the slaying of 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut late last year. But the fact is, increased gun control efforts are going to inevitably result in more arrests and prosecutions for weapon-related offenses. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to the aggressive protection of your Second Amendment rights, as well as your defense in cases where you are accused of committing a crime with a weapon.

As it stands now, California law permits almost anyone to purchase a gun without a license. Those individuals generally prohibited from obtaining or possessing a firearm are:

  • Felons;
  • Individuals convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses, such as domestic violence;
  • People who are addicted to narcotics;
  • People grappling with a mental illness;
  • Minors under the age of 18.

Absent these elements, you are allowed to possess a gun. Prior to the start of last year, one used to be able to carry an unloaded firearm in public, so long as it was in plain view and you weren't in a prohibited area, such as a government office or school. However, California Assembly Bill 144 amended California Penal Code Section 26350, and it is no longer permissible to carry an unloaded handgun in the open. The only way you may carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public is if you legally obtain a permit. The law requires the person to prove he or she is of good moral character, has good cause to justify the need for a permit, is a residence in the county in which you are applying and have completed an approved firearms' training class.

Selling, leasing or transferring a gun without a permit could result in charges filed under California Penal Code 12070, which designates under which circumstances such transactions are illegal.

The measures proposed by Obama would serve to expand the number of hoops through which gun owners would be forced to jump. Among the 23 executive orders signed, there is one instructing the U.S. attorney general to review prohibited classes of gun owners and make recommendations to see whether further steps need to be taken to enforce the law. The president is also requesting that Congress require universal background checks for all firearm sales and the re-enactment of an assault weapons ban, though it's unclear whether such measures will gain enough necessary support, particularly within the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Advancing the cause further, on the same day as the president's announcement, was Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, who has requested that the city determine whether it can legally ban the possession of high-capacity firearm magazines. State law already bars the making and sale of magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets, but Krekorian has said he wants to find ways to expand on the limitations.