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Assault Weapons under California Law-Punishments and Definitions

With the recent school shooting in Connecticut, many people have been wondering what California laws govern the possession of assault weapons. Assault weapons are generally addressed in the Penal Code starting at section 30500, Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 and the .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004. The sections that follow contain the definitions and explanations of what constitutes an assault weapon. Sections 30510 and 30515 provides an enumerate list of banned weapons by manufacture and model number, as well as, a more general definition of forbidden weapons. The definitions and list are subject to change and other laws contain various additions and exceptions. Professional advice should be sought before the purchase, possession, transportation or manufacture of any potentially illegal weapon, or weapon part.

Possession of an assault weapon can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony with the maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. The manufacture, distribution, sale or transport of an assault weapon can only be charged as a felony and can result in up to eight years of imprisonment. (Cal. Penal Code Sections 30600 and 30605).

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