Penal Code 30210 PC - Bullets Containing an Explosive Agent

Penal Code 30210 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess certain ammunition that contains a dart or an explosive agent.

Examples of illegal acts under PC 30210 include:

  • David modifies some bullets in his possession so that they carry an explosive agent.
  • Camila agrees to store her boyfriend's ammunition collection (which includes ammo that carries darts) in her apartment.
  • Terrel buys some ammunition (subject to PC 30210) in Oregon, puts it in his car, and drives into California.

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Penal Code 30210. These include showing that an accused party:

  • did not have a “flechette dart;”
  • is free from prosecution; and/or,
  • acted under duress.

Penalties

A violation of PC 30210 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.

If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to three years; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $10,000.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

Large capacity ammo magazine gun ss

1. What is prohibited under California Penal Code 30210 PC?

California Penal Code 30210 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess either:

  • ammunition that contains or consists of any “flechette dart,” (“FD”) or
  • a bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent.1

According to California Penal Code 16570, a “flechette dart” is a dart approximately one inch in length that can be fired from a firearm.2

Please note that the ammunition subject to PC 30210 is also prohibited under California Penal Code 16590, or California's statute on generally prohibited weapons. This statute lists several weapons/objects that are generally prohibited in the State of California. Ammo containing FDs and ammo with explosive agents are specifically banned under PC 16590(b) and PC16590(e), respectively.3

Examples of other prohibited weapons include:

  • wallet guns;
  • lipstick case knives; and,
  • air gauge knives.4

2. Legal defenses

A person accused under Penal Code 30210 can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense. A good defense can often get a charge reduced or even dismissed. Please note, though, that it is critical for an accused to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to get the most effective defense.

Three common defenses to PC 30210 accusations are:

  1. no “flechette dart;”
  2. free from prosecution; and/or,
  3. duress.

2.1. No flechette dart

Please recall that Penal Code 16570 provides a specific definition for what a FD is. This means that it is a valid legal defense for an accused to say that while he may have committed an illegal act under PC 30210, he did not do so with ammo that contained a “flechette dart.”

2.2. Free from prosecution

Please note that certain people and/or situations are free from prosecution for committing certain acts with ammo containing FDs or explosive agents. For example, members of law enforcement agencies may sell, transfer, or possess these objects. The same holds true for some antique dealers. It is a defense, therefore, for a defendant to show that he falls into one of these exempted categories.

2.3. Duress

To best understand this defense, think of a case where a bank robber holds a pedestrian at gunpoint and tells him to get into a running car and drive them away.

Duress is a legal defense in which an accused basically says: “He made me do it.” The defense applies to the very limited situation in which a person commits a crime (here, possessing certain ammunition), because somebody threatened to kill him if the crime was not committed.

man behind bars
A violation of this law can result in a fine and/or jail time.

3. Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing

A violation of PC 30210 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on:

  • the facts of a case, and
  • the criminal history of the defendant.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.5

Please note that in lieu of jail time a judge may order a defendant to misdemeanor probation. This is also called “summary” or “informal” probation.

If a PC 30210 violation is charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in a county jail for up to three years; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $10,000.6

Note that in lieu of jail time a judge may order a defendant to felony probation.

4. Related Offenses

There are three crimes related to illegal acts with ammo containing FDs and explosive agents. These are:

  1. illegal acts with wallet guns – PC 24710;
  2. illegal acts with assault weapons – PC 30600; and,
  3. illegal acts with destructive devices – PC 18710.

4.1. Illegal acts with wallet guns – PC 24710

California Penal Code 24710 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a wallet gun.

A “wallet gun” is any firearm mounted or enclosed in a case.7

A violation of PC 24710 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of a case.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.8

If a PC 24710 violation is charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in a county jail for up to three years; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $10,000.9

4.2. Illegal acts with assault weapons – PC 30600

Penal Code 30600 PC is California's law regarding assault weapons and .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) rifles.

PC 30600 prohibits:

  • manufacturing,
  • selling,
  • giving away,
  • lending, and/or
  • possessing

assault weapons and BMG rifles, except in very specific circumstances.10

Penalties and charges under Penal Code 30600 PC will vary from serious felony charges to minor infractions. The facts of a case will determine how a PC 30600 violation is charged and the penalties for the violation.

Please note that possible penalties can include:

  • years in jail; and/or,
  • substantial fines.

4.3. Illegal acts with destructive devices – PC 18710

Penal Code 18710 PC makes it a crime for a person to possess a “destructive device.”

Destructive devices include things like:

  • bombs,
  • grenades,
  • explosive missiles,
  • projectiles containing any kind of explosive or incendiary material, and
  • certain rockets and rocket-propelled projectiles.11

In order to be guilty under PC 18710, a person has to both:

  1. possess a destructive device; and,
  2. know that the device in his possession is destructive.12

Penal Code 18710 PC possession of explosives is a wobbler offense. This means that it may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Misdemeanor penalties for possession of a bomb/destructive device could include:

  • up to one year in county jail; and/or,
  • a fine of up to $1,000.13

And, if the crime is prosecuted as a felony, it is punishable by:

  • 16 months, two years or three years in California state prison; and/or,
  • a fine of up to $10,000.14

Were you accused of committing an illegal act with bullets carrying certain darts or explosive agents in California? Call us for help…

california weapon criminal defense attorney
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Penal Code 30210 PC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 30210 PC. This code section states: “Except as provided in Section 30215 and Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses either of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170:

    (a) Any ammunition that contains or consists of any flechette dart.

    (b) Any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent.”

  2. California Penal Code 16570 PC.

  3. California Penal Code 16590(b) PC and 16590(e) PC.

  4. California Penal Code 16590 PC.

  5. California Penal Code 30210 PC.

  6. See same. See also California Penal Code 1170(h) PC.

  7. California Penal Code 17330 PC.

  8. California Penal Code 24710 PC.

  9. See same. See also California Penal Code 1170(h) PC.

  10. California Penal Code 30600 PC.

  11. California Penal Code 16460 PC.

  12. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 2570.

  13. California Penal Code 18710 PC.

  14. See same.

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