Firearm Possession in Violation of a Court Order - Penal Code 29825 PC
California Penal Code 29825 PC makes it a crime for someone to own, purchase, or possess a firearm when a court order prohibits it. Notably, it does not matter if the firearm is operable. If convicted of a felony violation, you could face time in state prison.
Simply put, suppose you are under a court order or injunction prohibiting you from possessing a firearm, but you still have one. In that case, you could be charged with violating PC 29825.
It should be noted that the most common court orders that apply to PC 29825 are related to domestic violence, such as temporary restraining orders (TRO), protective orders, permanent restraining orders, stay-away orders, and injunctions. This statute is primarily designed to prevent somebody from harassing, stalking, or abusing a protected person who is an alleged victim.
Penal Code 29825 PC says, “(a) A person who purchases or receives, or attempts to purchase or receive, a firearm knowing that the person is prohibited from doing so in any jurisdiction by a temporary restraining order or injunction issued pursuant to Section 527.6, 527.8, or 527.85 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
A protective order is defined in Section 6218 of the Family Code, a protective order is issued under Section 136.2 or 646.91 of this code, and a protective order is issued under Section 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Or by a valid order issued by an out-of-state jurisdiction that is similar or equivalent to a temporary restraining order, injunction, or protective order specified in this subdivision, that includes a prohibition from owning or possessing a firearm, is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(b) A person who owns or possesses a firearm knowing that the person is prohibited from doing so in any jurisdiction by a temporary restraining order or injunction issued pursuant to Section 527.6, 527.8, or 527.85 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a protective order as defined in Section 6218 of the Family Code, a protective order issued pursuant to Section 136.2 or 646.91 of this code, a protective order issued pursuant to Section 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or by a valid order issued by an out-of-state jurisdiction that is similar or equivalent to a temporary restraining order, injunction, or protective order specified in this subdivision, that includes a prohibition from owning or possessing a firearm, is guilty of a public offense, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(c) If probation is granted upon conviction of a violation of this section, the court shall impose probation consistent with Section 1203.097.
(d) The Judicial Council shall provide notice on all protective orders issued within the state that the respondent is prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm while the protective order is in effect.
The order shall also state that a firearm owned or possessed by the person shall be relinquished to the local law enforcement agency for that jurisdiction, sold to a licensed firearms dealer, or transferred to a licensed firearms dealer pursuant to Section 29830 for the duration of the period that the protective order is in effect, and that proof of surrender or sale shall be filed within a specified time of receipt of the order. The order shall state the penalties for a violation of the prohibition. The order shall also state on its face the expiration date for relinquishment.”
Penal Code 29825 PC – Quick Facts
There are some essential facts you should know about Penal Code 29825 PC possession of a firearm in violation of a court order law, such as the following:
- It's a crime to knowingly own, purchase, receive, or possess a firearm or even attempt to do so if you are under any court order or injunction that prohibits firearm possession, including ammunition for the weapon.
- The applicable court orders include domestic violence protective orders, which automatically ban the respondent from possessing a firearm.
- Other orders include criminal protective orders issued by the court, temporary restraining orders (TROs), and any injunction prohibiting firearm possession.
- A “firearm” is any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is discharged or expelled through the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.
- “Possession” of the firearm can be either actual or constructive, meaning real physical control of the gun or you have access to it.
- The firearm does not have to be a working weapon or loaded with ammo if it was designed to shoot and appears functional.
- Attempting to gain possession of a firearm is treated like possessing it.
What Factors Must be Proven for a Conviction?
To convict you of violating this law, prosecutors must prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, including the following:
- You were under a court order or injunction prohibiting firearm possession,
- You were aware of the court order and
- You knowingly owned, purchased, received, or had a firearm violating the court order.
What Must the Court Order Say?
The court order must state that a firearm owned or possessed by the person shall be:
- Relinquished to the local police agency for that jurisdiction,
- Sold to a licensed firearms dealer, or
- Transferred to a licensed firearms dealer under Penal Code 29830 PC during the period that the protective order is in effect,
- Proof of surrender or sale must be filed within a specific time of receipt of the order.
- The penalties for violating probation,
- The expiration date for relinquishment.
What Are Related Crimes?
Several California statutes are related to Penal Code 29825 possession of a firearm that violates a court order, such as the following:
- Penal Code 29800 PC – felon in possession of a firearm,
- Penal Code 29805 PC – possess a firearm after misdemeanor conviction,
- Penal Code 273.6 PC – violation of a restraining order,
- Penal Code 243.4(e)(1) PC – domestic battery,
- Penal Code 273.5 PC – corporal injury to a spouse,
- Penal Code 646.9 PC – stalking.
What are the PC 29825 Penalties?
Possession of a firearm violating a court order is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and your prior criminal record. The penalties include the following:
- A misdemeanor conviction carries a fine of up to $1000 and up to one year in county jail.
- A felony conviction carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 16 months, two or three years in state prison.
- There is a loss of gun rights due to the restraining order.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you could get your firearm back after you comply with the court order or complete the sentence. If you are convicted of a felony, you will permanently lose all gun rights.
What are the PC 29825 Defenses?
As discussed below, our California criminal defense attorneys could use different strategies to fight allegations that you violated Penal Code 29825 PC. Maybe we can claim there was a lack of knowledge of the court order. Under this law, you must be notified of the court order prohibiting firearm possession. Perhaps you were not adequately informed, and we can get the charges dismissed.
Maybe we can say that you were unaware of the firearms' presence. Perhaps the gun was in your home, but someone else owned it, and you could not access it.
Maybe we can argue momentary possession. This is a valid defense to say that you only possessed the firearm momentarily to dispose of it. Perhaps we can say that you did not attempt to prevent law enforcement from confiscating it. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation. Cron, Israels & Stark has offices in Los Angeles, CA.