Prohibited Weapons in California

It is unlawful for any person to own possess, manufacture, give, lend, import, or offer to sell any prohibited weapon as listed in California Penal Code section 16590. Some of the most commonly encountered prohibited weapons include:

  • short-barreled rifle/ short-barreled shotgun
  • camouflage firearm container
  • air gauge knife
  • ammunition that contains a flechette dart
  • ballistic knife
  • belt buckle knife
  • bullet that contains an explosive agent
  • cane gun
  • cane sword
  • concealed dirk or dagger
  • large capacity magazine (holds more than 10 rounds)
  • lipstick case knife
  • metal knuckles
  • shobi-zue (a staff or rod concealing a knife which can be exposed with a flip of the wrist)
  • shuriken (a star with projecting blades used as a missile in some martial arts)
  • undetectable firearm
  • wallet gun
  • writing pen knife
  • metal military practice grenade
  • zip gun.

People in California are prohibited from possessing, giving, lending, manufacturing, selling, or importing these weapons. On January 1, 2012, the term "dangerous weapons" under Penal Code section 12020 was renamed "generally prohibited weapons" (now California Penal Code section 16590) and each weapon was given its own Penal Code section.

Penalties For Violating California's Prohibited Weapons Law

Breaking California’s laws on generally prohibited weapons is considered a "wobbler" offense. A wobbler is a crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the person’s criminal history. A person can face the following for manufacturing, selling, or possessing a generally prohibited weapon:

  • Misdemeanor conviction: Up to 1 year in county jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine;
  • Felony conviction: Up to 3 years in county jail or prison and/or a maximum $10,000 fine.

Legal Defenses

Like other gun and knife laws in California, the generally prohibited weapons law is full of exceptions and technicalities. A skilled California defense attorney can often use his or her experience to and skills to get charges dismissed or penalties minimized by showing:

  • The weapon recovered was not a prohibited weapon;
  • The person who was in possession of the weapon had no knowledge the weapon was a prohibited weapon;
  • The person has a valid permit for the weapon that was recovered;
  • The weapon recovered was found during an illegal search.

Defending Illegal Weapon Defendants in Los Angeles

If you are facing charges for manufacturing, selling, or possessing a generally prohibited weapon, you need skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys to defend you against these charges. At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, our lawyers are dedicated to aggressively defending against the charges and helping you secure the best possible outcome for your case. Let us put our 70 plus years of criminal law experience to work for you.

Contact our Los Angeles criminal attorneys to schedule your free consultation today.