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Felon in Possession of Ammunition - Penal Code 30305(a)(1) PC

Posted by Sam Israels | Jun 07, 2023

In California, convicted felons can't possess ammunition, defined under Penal Code 30305(a)(1) PC. This statute is closely related to Penal Code 29800 PC felons possessing a firearm.

Penal Code 30305(a)(1) PC - Felon in Possession of Ammunition

Simply put, it's illegal to own, possess, or have custody of ammunition if you are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.

PC 30305(a)(1) says, “No person prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Section 29800, Section 29900, or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, shall own, possess, or have under custody or control, any ammunition or reloaded ammunition. Any violation is punishable by….”

The individuals normally prohibited from buying or possessing a gun and ammunition include convicted felons, drug addicts, somebody convicted of domestic violence, and two convictions of Penal Code 417 PC brandishing a weapon.

A conviction for violating this law includes up to three years in prison. Let's review this state law further below.

Review of PC 30305(a)(1)

Suppose you are already prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm in California. In that case, you are also probably prohibited from possessing ammunition under Penal Code 30305(a)(1) PC, which includes if you have any of the following:

  • convicted of any felony in California or another state under federal law;
  • addicted to drugs or narcotics;
  • two or more convictions for Penal Code 417 PC brandishing a firearm;
  • two or more convictions for violent firearms offenses;
  • convicted of any misdemeanor related to domestic violence;
  • if you were diagnosed with a mental illness; or
  • under the age of 18.

“Ammunition" includes any bullet, cartridge, magazine, clip, magazine, autoloader, speed loader, or projectile that could be fired from a firearm and cause injury or death.

"Possession" of ammunition includes having it on your person or under your control, which means having access to it.

To convict you of violating PC 30305(a)(1), the prosecutor has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, all elements of the crime in California Criminal Jury Instructions 2591, including that you did all of the following:  

  • owned, possessed, or had ammunition in your custody;
  • knew that you had possession of the ammunition, and
  • were prohibited from owning or possessing it because of a prior conviction of a mental illness.

What Are the Related Crimes?

Several California crimes are related to Penal Code 30305(a)(1) PC felon in possession of ammunition, including the following:  

  • Penal Code 417 PC - brandishing a weapon;
  • Penal Code 29800 PC - felon in possession of a firearm;
  • Penal Code 25850(a) PC - carrying a loaded firearm;
  • Penal Code 25400 PC - carrying a concealed weapon;
  • Penal Code 26350 PC - open carry an unloaded firearm;
  • Penal Code 30315 PC – possess armor-piercing bullets;
  • Penal Code 30210 PC – possess bullets with an explosive agent;
  • Penal Code 17500 PC – possess a deadly weapon to assault;
  • Penal Code 12022 PC – armed with a firearm during a felony.

Further, receiving, shipping, or transporting ammunition across state lines or from another country is a federal crime if you are a convicted felon.

What are the Penalties for PC 30305(a)(1)?

Illegal possession of ammunition under PC 30305(a)(1)is a "wobbler" offense that can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case details and your record. The penalties are as follows:

  • misdemeanor conviction carries up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000;
  • felony conviction carries 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

What Are the Defenses for PC 30305(a)(1)?  

Suppose you have been accused of violating PC 30305(a)(1). In that case, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers could use different strategies to obtain the best possible outcome, as discussed below.

Defenses for Felon in Possession of Ammunition

Maybe we can argue that you are not ineligible for ammunition possession. Perhaps it was a mistake, or you were at least 18 years old when you had control of the ammo.

Maybe we could argue that you did not know the ammunition was in your vicinity or within control.  Recall from above that a prosecutor must prove you illegally possessed the ammunition.

Maybe you can show that someone else has placed the ammo near you without your knowledge. Perhaps we can argue that you can have justifiable possession of the ammo, such as only long enough for law enforcement to dispose of it.

Maybe we can argue that there was an Illegal search and seizure by law enforcement. Suppose police violated the search and seizure laws and discovered the ammunition. In that case, the judge could deem any evidence inadmissible in court.

Maybe we negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduced charge or a case dismissal. Perhaps we could persuade them prefiling not to file formal criminal charges in the first place (DA reject). We offer a free case evaluation by phone or using the contact form. Cron, Israels & Stark are based in Los Angeles, CA.

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About the Author

Sam Israels

Sam J. Israels is a Law Firm partner with the Law Offices of Cron, Israels, & Stark. Mr. Israels received his J.D. degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law. Mr. Israels also previously worked at the Los Angeles Office of the City Attorney. He is admitted to practice law in the State o...

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