Penal Code 16590 - California law re "generally prohibited weapons"

Penal Code 16590 is the California law that prohibits manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing certain dangerous weapons.1 The prohibited weapons include such items as nunchakus (commonly referred to as "nunchucks"), "brass knuckles," short-barreled shotguns, and ballistic knives. 

These weapons are illegal to possess even in private, and even if you have a standard permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Former Penal Code 12020 listed all such "dangerous" weapons together in one code section.  Effective January 1, 2012, however, each weapon was given its own code section.  "Dangerous weapons" were renamed "generally prohibited weapons."  Otherwise, these laws remain as they were prior to 2012.

Penalties for violating California's laws on generally prohibited weapons

Violation of a law governing generally prohibited weapon is a "wobbler" offense. A wobbler is a crime that a prosecutor may choose to charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  The choice depends on the circumstances of the case and your criminal history.

If convicted of manufacturing, selling or possessing a prohibited weapon you face the loss of the weapon and:

  1. If convicted of a misdemeanor, up to one (1) year in county jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine, or
  2. If convicted of a felony, up to three (3) years in county jail and/or a maximum $10,000 fine.
Legal defenses to charges of violating California's law on generally prohibited weapons

Like many California gun laws and California knife laws, the laws on generally prohibited weapons are full of exceptions and technicalities.

A good California defense attorney may be able to take advantage of these to help you get the charges dismissed... or at least minimize the penalties.

Legal defenses your attorney may raise on your behalf include (but are not limited to):

  • your weapon does not meet the legal definition of a generally prohibited weapon;
  • you didn't know the weapon had the characteristics of a generally prohibited weapon;
  • you have a valid permit for the type of weapon you are charged with possessing;
  • the weapon was discovered during an illegal search; or
  • your arrest or confession resulted from police misconduct.

As former prosecutors and cops, we know the ins and outs of California's firearms and weapons offenses.  Just as importantly, we know the most effective ways to defend these types of charges.

Below, our California criminal defense lawyers2 address the following:

1. What are California's "generally prohibited weapons"?
2. What activities are illegal as to generally prohibited weapons?

2.1. Elements of the crime of unlawfully manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing a generally prohibited weapon

2.2. Firearm

2.3. Knowingly

2.4. Capable of being used as a weapon

3. People and weapons exempt from prosecution
4. Legal defenses to "generally prohibited weapon" charges

4.1. The weapon was discovered during an illegal search
and seizure

4.2. You didn't knowingly possess the
dangerous weapon

4.3. You fall within one of the exemptions allowing you to possess a generally prohibited weapon

4.4. You have a permit for the weapon

4.5. Entrapment

4.6. Police misconduct

5. Penalties for violating California's laws against generally prohibited weapons
6. Collateral consequences of a California weapons conviction

6.1. California weapons offenses and immigration

6.2. Expunging your California conviction for a generally prohibited weapon

6.3. Your right to own/possess firearms

7. Related offenses

7.1. Penal Code 25400 PC – carrying a firearm capable of being concealed on the person

7.2. Penal Code 29800 PC -- California's "felon with a firearm" law

7.3. Penal Code 25850 PC -- carrying a loaded firearm in public

7.4. Penal Code Section 26350 PC -- carrying an unloaded firearm in public

7.5. Penal Code 30600 PC -- California's ban on assault weapons and rifles

7.6. Penal Code 245 PC(a)(2) -- assault with a firearm

7.7. Penal Code 245 PC(a)(1) -- assault with a deadly weapon

7.8. Penal Code 417 PC, brandishing a weapon

7.9. Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC, grand theft firearm

7.10. Penal Code 21510 PC -- possession of a switchblade

7.11. Penal Code 21310 PC -- California's laws against carrying concealed dirks or daggers

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. What are California's "generally
prohibited weapons"?

Under California Penal Code 16590, the list of "generally prohibited weapon" includes:

(a) An air gauge knife, as prohibited by Penal Code 20310,3
(b) Ammunition that contains or consists of a flechette dart, asprohibited by Section 30210,4
(c) A ballistic knife, as prohibited by Penal Code 21110,5
(d) A belt buckle knife, as prohibited by Penal Code 20410,6
(e) A bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, as prohibited by Penal Code 30210,
(f) A camouflaging firearm container, as prohibited by Penal Code 24310,7
(g) A cane gun, as prohibited by Penal Code 24410,8
(h) A cane sword, as prohibited by Section 20510,9
(i) A concealed dirk or dagger, as prohibited by Penal Code 21310,10
(j) A concealed explosive substance, other than fixed ammunition, as prohibited by Section 19100,11
(k) A firearm that is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, as prohibited by Section 24510,
(l) A large-capacity magazine, as prohibited by Penal Code 32310,12
(m) A leaded cane or an instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a billy,  blackjack, sandbag, sandclub, sap, or slungshot, as prohibited by Section 22210,13
(n) A lipstick case knife, as prohibited by Section 20610,14
(o) Metal (brass) knuckles, as prohibited by Penal Code 21810,15
(p) A metal military practice hand grenade or a metal replica hand grenade, as prohibited by Section 19200 (unless it is not real and is permanently inert)16 ,
(q) A multi-burst trigger activator (bump stock) as prohibited by Penal Code 32900,17
(r) A nunchaku, as prohibited by Penal Code 22010,18
(s) A shobi-zue, as prohibited by Penal Code 20710,19
(t) A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, as prohibited by Penal Code 33215,20
(u) A shuriken, as prohibited by Penal Code 22410,21
(v) An unconventional pistol [pistol without a bore], as prohibited by Section 31500,22
(w) An undetectable firearm as prohibited by Penal Code 24610,23
(x) A wallet gun, as prohibited by Penal Code 24710,24
(y) A writing pen knife, as prohibited by Penal Code 20910,

and,

(z) A zip gun, as prohibited by Section 33600.25
2. What activities are illegal as to generally prohibited weapons?

Under California's law on generally prohibited weapons, it is a crime to:

  • manufacture or cause to be manufactured,
  • import into the state,
  • keep for sale,
  • offer or expose for sale,
  • give,
  • lend, or
  • possess

any "generally prohibited weapon".

2.1. Elements of the crime of unlawfully manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing a generally prohibited weapon

In order to convict you of unlawfully manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing illegal weapons, the prosecutor must prove certain additional facts.  These are known as "elements" of the crime.

Let's take a look at some of the legal definitions governing generally prohibited weapons to gain a better understanding of their meaning.

2.2. Firearm

A "firearm" for purposes of California's gun laws is:

  1. any device,
  2. designed to be used as a weapon,
  3. from which a projectile,
  4. is expelled through a barrel,
  5. by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion."26

However, only the firearms specifically listed in Penal Code 16590 are considered generally prohibited weapons.

Conventional pistols, revolvers, long rifles, long shotguns and conventional ammunition may be legally owned by most adults in California, subject to certain restrictions.

Exceptions are:

  1. felons (that is, anyone convicted of any felony offense in any jurisdiction),27
  2. persons who are addicted to narcotics,28
  3. persons with two (2) or more convictions under Penal Code 417, California's law against brandishing a weapon,29
  4. persons convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses,30
  5. persons who suffer from mental illness,31 and
  6. minors (that is, anyone under 18).32

Prosecutors can convict you of possessing a prohibited firearm even if it is inoperable.33 This is because the legislative intent behind these types of possession cases is to protect a victim or third party from the type of fear and coercion that seeing such a weapon is likely to invoke.34

2.3. Knowingly

You only violate California's generally prohibited weapons laws requires when you engage in such conduct knowing either that the object in question:

  1. is a weapon,35 or
  2. is capable of being used as a weapon.36

If you are unaware that the instrument has the characteristics of a weapon, you are not guilty of a crime.

Examples:  A friend sees a zip gun at a swap meet and buys it for you because "it looks cool."  Neither of you realizes it is actually capable of firing a bullet.

Or, perhaps you purchased a beautiful cane at a pawn shop and didn't realize it contained a sword.  When you try to take it through an airport security checkpoint, the hidden blade is discovered.

Note that it isn't necessary for the prosecutor to prove that you intended to use the object as a weapon.  It is enough that you knew that it was capable of being used as one.37

2.4. Capable of being used as a weapon

"Capable of being used as a weapon" takes into account an object's purpose.  A candlestick could be used as a weapon, but possessing one is not illegal.

The California Legislature intended to prohibit people from carrying instruments "which are ordinarily used for criminal and unlawful purposes."   Generally prohibited weapons are "short, easily concealed, and so weighted as to constitute effective and silent weapons of attack."38

The test will generally be whether evidence indicates that the object would be used for a dangerous... rather than a harmless... purpose.39

Example: Rick hits Steve in the face while he is wearing a standard workout glove that is customarily "weighted" with sand in the palm/fist area.  Steve suffers a serious injury.

During Rick's trial, the prosecutor argues that the glove was no different than what the code describes as a "sandbag."  The jury convicts Rick of Penal Code 242 PC -- battery and possession of a prohibited sandbag under Penal Code 22210.40

The California Court of Appeals overturns Rick's conviction for possessing a dangerous weapon and states that he is only guilty of battery under Penal Code 242 PC.  The court holds that a standard workout glove is not commonly known as a "sandbag."  It states that the "weighted" glove and a sandbag don't share the characteristics that prohibit one from carrying a sandbag.

Despite the fact that the glove caused serious injury...and it is therefore capable of being used as a weapon...it is not an object that is "typically used in an unlawful or criminal manner."  Therefore, it is not a generally prohibited weapon under Penal Code 16590.41

But...

A small baseball bat, the last few inches of which had been broken, was taped at that end and heavier at the unaltered end.  It was held to fit the "common" description of a "billy."

The defendant carried it in his car and did not use it to play baseball.  Given these facts, the court upheld the defendant's conviction for carrying a prohibited weapon.42
3. People and weapons exempt from prosecution

Certain people and/or situations are specifically exempt from prosecution for possessing all or some generally prohibited weapons. Some of these include (but are not limited to):

  • sale or transfer to, or possession by, law enforcement agencies,43
  • when approved by the Department of Justice, the manufacture, possession, transportation, or sale of short-barreled rifles or shotguns,44
  • possession of nunchakus by schools that teach martial arts,45
  • possession by authorized persons of antique, curio, or relic firearms or ammunition,46
  • authorized possession by historical societies, libraries, and museums,47
  • use of unloaded weapons in movie, television, and/or video productions,48
  • turning a generally prohibited weapon over to law enforcement,49 and
  • possession by forensic laboratories.50

Keep in mind that even these exceptions have very specific requirements and caveats.  Thus it is critical to consult with a California criminal defense attorney who thoroughly understands California's weapon laws.

4. Legal defenses to "generally prohibited
weapon" charges

There are a number of California legal defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can present on your behalf.  The following are some examples.

4.1. The weapon was discovered during an illegal search and seizure

Many charges for possessing a generally prohibited weapon arise after an officer stops a suspect for some type of investigation.

But law enforcement can only legally search you or your property when:

  • they have probable cause under California law (that is, a reasonable belief that you are or were engaged in criminal activity),
  • they have a valid California search warrant authorizing them to search your person/property (the scope of which they strictly adhere to), or
  • you voluntary consent to conduct a search of your person/property.

If the police fail to meet these criteria, the search and seizure of your weapon may violate your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights.51

If you can prove this, it is very likely that the court will dismiss the charges.

Example:  The police abruptly knock on your door and state that they are there to search your business for illegal weapons.  You politely ask them to leave since they don't have a warrant.

At that point, one of the officers draws his gun, points it at you and tells you that you that you can consent to the search while they "gently" search the premises.  Or, you can wait until they obtain a warrant, after which they will ransack your store.  You reluctantly agree to the search.

Given these facts, the cops have coerced you into consenting to the search.  As a result, any illegal weapons that they find should be excluded from evidence.

4.2. You didn't knowingly possess the dangerous weapon

If you didn't knowingly possess a prohibited weapon, then you did not commit a crime.

Examples:  You share an apartment with three other people.  One day, you mistakenly grab someone else's coat.  The coat has an illegal knife in the pocket but you don't notice it.  Since you don't know you are actually carrying the weapon, you have not committed a crime.

Or... the police search the apartment you share and find a short-barreled rifle under the sofa.  Since you live with three other people, it may be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that you knowingly possessed a prohibited weapon.

As Oakland criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer explains52 :

"If the prosecution can't prove that you knowingly carried or possessed an illegal weapon, you can't be convicted under this section.  There are numerous ways that you could be carrying the weapon without realizing it.  And when this is the case, California criminal law excuses your unintentional conduct."

4.3. You fall within one of the exemptions allowing you to possess a generally prohibited weapon

As set forth above, certain people are allowed to possess generally prohibited weapons... as long as they meet the applicable conditions.

Examples:  You and your brother study martial arts.  One day you find a pair of nunchukas in your brother's duffel bag.You are not legally prohibited from owning a legal weapon under California law.  So you are permitted to take possession of the nunchakus long enough to bring them to your local police or sheriff.

Under such circumstances, however, it is probably a good idea to call the police first and tell them you are bringing in an illegal weapon.  That way, if you are stopped by the police in transit, you have evidence you are legally in possession of an otherwise prohibited weapon.


But... let's say that on the way to the police station you decide you want to stop at your dojo and practice with the nunchakus yourself.  Now you are no longer possessing the nunchakus legally.

4.4. You have a permit for the weapon

California permits to carry "firearms capable of being concealed on the person" do not apply to generally prohibited weapons.   Thus even if you hold a California permit to "carry a concealed weapon" (CCW), you may not possess a weapon listed in Penal Code 16590.

However, certain types of permits do allow you to permit some generally prohibited weapons.

For instance, if you hold an entertainment firearms permit from the Department of Justice, you may be able to use unloaded weapons as props in a production or entertainment event.53

And the California Department of Justice may issue permits to a licensed firearms dealer for the possession, transportation, or sale of large-capacity magazines to out-of-state clients.54

4.5. Entrapment

Entrapment serves as a valid legal defense in California when you can prove that you only engaged in the illegal conduct because the police persuaded, lured, or coerced you into doing so.

Example: An undercover cop enters your sporting goods store looking to buy a belt buckle knife.  You tell him you don't sell them because they're illegal.  He asks if you can get one for him from another supplier and you again state that they're illegal.

The officer continues to go to your store on a daily basis, each time asking you to supply him with a belt buckle knife.  Each time he's in the store, he disrupts your business.  You finally agree to get him the knife in order to stop his harassment.

Given these circumstances, you could argue that you were entrapped into violating Penal Code 20410 PC and should therefore be absolved of your criminal culpability.55

But... let's instead say that the undercover cop enters your store and makes the same request.  This time you tell him you don't have the knife to sell him, but you can get it from someone else and that he should come back in a week.

Given these facts...that it was you, not the officer, who initiated the criminal conduct...you probably would not prevail on an entrapment defense.  California criminal law assumes that an ordinary law-abiding citizen will resist the temptation to commit a crime when presented with the simple opportunity to do so.56

4.6. Police misconduct

Along these same lines, if the police...for whatever reason...

  • "plant" or "fabricate" evidence,
  • discover your weapon in an illegal search (that is, without a valid California search warrant, without your consent, or outside the scope of a lawful arrest),
  • coerce your confession,  or
  • in any other way violate your civil rights...

police misconduct may override your alleged criminal acts and your charges may be dismissed.57

5. Penalties for violating California's laws against generally prohibited weapons

Manufacture, sale or possession of generally prohibited weapons is a "wobbler"58.  Prosecutors can charge a wobbler as either a misdemeanor,  or a felony, depending on:

  1. the facts of the case, and
  2. your criminal history.

However, if you are convicted of a first offense involving a metal military practice hand grenade or metal replica hand grenade, the offense is merely an infraction -- unless you are an active participant in a criminal street gang.59 Infractions are punished by a maximum $250 fine.

Otherwise, if convicted of a crime involving a prohibited weapon as a misdemeanor, you face

    • informal (otherwise known as "summary") probation, or
    • up to one year in a county jail,

      and/or
  • a maximum $1,000 fine.60

If convicted of a crime involving a prohibited weapon as a felony,  you face

  1. formal probation with up to one-year county jail (if probation is granted), OR
  2. up to 16 months or two or three years in county jail (if probation is denied),61

and/or

a maximum $10,000 fine.62

In addition to all of the above penalties, a conviction for this offense may result in the loss of the weapon.63

6. Collateral consequences of a California
weapons conviction

6.1. California weapons offenses and immigration

If you are a legal immigrant or legal alien, a conviction for possession of a generally prohibited weapon could additionally lead to your deportation.64 For more information about how California's firearm laws affect aliens, please visit our article on California crimes that lead to deportation.

6.2. Expunging your California conviction for a generally prohibited weapon

If you are granted probation in a misdemeanor or felony prohibited weapon case, you may petition to expunge your California criminal record.  You may do this once you successfully complete the probationary period. However, the judge can deny you an expungement if you suffer a probation violation or fail to adhere to all the terms and conditions of probation.65

Keep in mind that while an expungement will help clear your criminal record, it will not restore your right to own or possess a firearm if you have been otherwise banned from doing so.66

6.3. Your right to own or possess firearms

A misdemeanor conviction for manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing a generally prohibited weapon won't by itself revoke your right to own or possess a firearm.  But if you are convicted of a felony, you will be prohibited from purchasing, receiving, owning, or possessing a firearm for life.67

However, you if you successfully petition to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor...your gun rights will be restored.

Note, however, that if you are convicted of a felony involving the use of a dangerous weapon, there is no way to restore your California gun rights.  Even a certificate of rehabilitation and/or a governor's pardon does not restore firearm rights to someone who has been convicted of a felony that involves the use of a dangerous weapon.68

California law defines "dangerous weapon" as any object, instrument, or weapon that is:

  • inherently deadly or dangerous, or
  • used in such a way that it is capable of causing... and likely to cause... death or great bodily injury.69
7. Related offenses

There are a variety of additional California laws that may apply to the possession or use of generally prohibited weapons.  Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with any of these in addition to generally prohibited weapon charges.

Some of the most common related offenses include (but are not limited to):

7.1. Penal Code 25400 PC – carrying a firearm capable of being concealed on the person

Penal Code 25400 PC is California's "carrying a concealed firearm" law.  It prohibits carrying a "pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon a person" on your person or in a vehicle.70 This law is sometimes erroneously referred to as "carry a concealed weapon," or "CCW" for short.

You can be charged under California law for both possession of a generally prohibited weapon and under PC 25400.

Example:  you are discovered with a short-barreled shotgun in a suitcase.  Prosecutors would likely charge you with:

Note that otherwise legal guns may be carried in public:

  • in the trunk of a car or a locked container (other than a glove box) within a car, or
  • to and from the car in a locked container for any lawful purpose.71

Generally prohibited weapons, however, may not be carried under any circumstances.

7.2. Penal Code 29800 PC -- California's "felon with a firearm" law

Penal Code 29800 PC is California's "felon with a firearm" law.  If you are convicted of Penal Code 29800 as a felony, you will automatically be subject to a lifetime ban on owning, possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.72

This law imposes a lifetime firearms ban on anyone who is convicted of a felony.

7.3. Penal Code 25850 PC -- carrying a loaded firearm in public

California Penal Code Section 25850 prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in public.73 It applies to the possession of loaded firearms on your person or in your car in a public place.

7.4. Penal Code Section 26350 PC -- carrying an unloaded firearm in public

California Penal Code Section 26350 prohibits carrying an unloaded firearm in public.

As of January 1, 2012, California has no open-carry exception to its firearm laws.

7.5. Penal Code 30600 PC -- California's ban on assault weapons and rifles

Penal Code 30600 PC is California's law banning assault weapons and rifles.74 This law makes it a wobblers to manufacture, sell, or possess assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles75 without a permit.76

7.6. Penal Code 245 PC(a)(2) -- assault with a firearm

Penal Code 245(a)(2) prohibits assault with a firearm.77

Violation of PC 245(a)(2) is a wobblers, which could subject you to:

  • probation with up to one year in county jail, or
  • two, three, or four years in the state prison

and/or

  • a fine of up to $10,000.78

7.7. Penal Code 245 PC(a)(1) -- assault with a deadly weapon

Penal Code 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon, makes it a wobbler to assault someone with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm.79 This section covers assaults wit knives and other generally prohibited weapons other than guns.

Violations of PC 245(a)(1) are punishable by:

  • probation with up to one year in county jail, or
  • two, three, or four years in the state prison,

and/or

  • a fine of up to $10,000.80

7.8. Penal Code 417 PC, brandishing a weapon

Penal Code 417 PC, California's "brandishing a weapon" law makes it a misdemeanor to draw, exhibit, or use a weapon in a "rude, angry, or threatening manner."81

If you violate this law with a generally prohibited weapon, prosecutors will probably charge you with both possessing a dangerous weapon... and with brandishing a weapon under California Penal Code 417 PC.

7.9. Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC, grand theft firearm

Penal Code 487(d)(2), PC is California's law against "grand theft firearm" prohibits stealing firearms.82 If you steal a firearm that is also a generally prohibited weapon, prosecutors will likely charge you with both grand theft firearm (commonly referred to as GTF)... and possessing a generally prohibited weapon.

7.10. Penal Code 21510 PC -- possession of a switchblade

Penal Code 21510 is California's switchblade law. Under this law, it is a misdemeanor to possess a switchblade with a blade two inches or more in length.83

Possession of a switchblade is punishable by either:

  • probation, and/or
  • up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

7.11. Penal Code 21310 PC -- California's laws against carrying concealed dirks or daggers

Penal Code 21310, California's "Dirks and Daggers" law,84 makes it a wobbler, to carry (concealed):

  1. a knife or other instrument,
  2. with or without a hand guard,
  3. that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon, and
  4. that may inflict a significant or substantial physical injury or death.85

Folding knives (other than switchblades) are considered stabbing weapons that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if:

  1. the blade of the knife is exposed, and
  2. the blade is locked into position.

As a misdemeanor,  possession of a dirk or dagger is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail.

As a felony, punishment is 16 months, 2 years, or  3 years in county jail.

Call us for help...
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Call us for help

If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 16590 manufacture, sale or possession of a weapon and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys represent clients accused of violating Nevada's firearm and weapons laws.  For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.86

Legal References:

1 California Penal Code 16590.  As used in this part, "generally prohibited weapon" means any of the following:
(a) An air gauge knife, as prohibited by Section 20310.
(b) Ammunition that contains or consists of a flechette dart, as prohibited by Section 30210.
(c) A ballistic knife, as prohibited by Section 21110.
(d) A belt buckle knife, as prohibited by Section 20410.
(e) A bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, as prohibited by Section 30210.
(f) A camouflaging firearm container, as prohibited by Section24310.
(g) A cane gun, as prohibited by Section 24410.
(h) A cane sword, as prohibited by Section 20510.
(i) A concealed dirk or dagger, as prohibited by Section 21310.
(j) A concealed explosive substance, other than fixed ammunition, as prohibited by Section 19100.
(k) A firearm that is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, as prohibited by Section 24510.
(l) A large-capacity magazine, as prohibited by Section 32310.
(m) A leaded cane or an instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a billy, blackjack, sandbag, sandclub, sap, or slungshot, as prohibited by Section 22210.
(n) A lipstick case knife, as prohibited by Section 20610.
(o) Metal knuckles, as prohibited by Section 21810.
(p) A metal military practice hand grenade or a metal replica hand grenade, as prohibited by Section 19200.
(q) A multiburst trigger activator, as prohibited by Section32900.
(r) A nunchaku, as prohibited by Section 22010.
(s) A shobi-zue, as prohibited by Section 20710.
(t) A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, as prohibited by Section 33215.
(u) A shuriken, as prohibited by Section 22410.
(v) An unconventional pistol, as prohibited by Section 31500.
(w) An undetectable firearm, as prohibited by Section 24610.
(x) A wallet gun, as prohibited by Section 24710.
(y) A writing pen knife, as prohibited by Section 20910.
(z) A zip gun, as prohibited by Section 33600.

2 Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities to help defend you against charges alleging the manufacturing, selling, and/or possessing of firearms and dangerous weapons.

3 California Penal Code 16140.  

4 California Penal Code 16570.  

5 California Penal Code 16220.  

6 California Penal Code 16260.  

7 California Penal Code 16320.

8 California Penal Code 16330.  

9 California Penal Code 16340.  

10 California Penal Code 16470.  

11 California Penal Code 16510.  

12 California Penal Code 16740.  

13 California Penal Code 16760.  

14 California Penal Code 16830.  

15 California Penal Code 16920.  

16 California Penal Code 19205 PC.  

17 California Penal Code 16930 PC.  

18 California Penal Code 16940.  

19 California Penal Code 17160.  

20 California Penal Code 17170 PC. 

21 California Penal Code 17200.  

22 California Penal Code 17270 PC.  

23 California Penal Code 17280 PC. 

24 California Penal Code 17330 PC.  

25 California Penal Code 17360 PC.  

26 California Penal Code 12001 PC -- Definitions, subdivision "b".

27 California Penal Code 29800(a)(1) 28 Same.

29 California Penal Code 29800 (a)(2) 

30 California Penal Code 29805 

31 California Welfare and Institutions Code 8100.

32 California Penal Code 29610 PC -- A minor shall not possess a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

33 People v. Favalora (1974) 42 Cal.App.3d 988, 991.  

34 See same at 992.  

35 See CALCRIM 2500.

36 See same.

37 See People v. Favalora, endnote 32.  ("[The People do not have to prove that the defendant intended to use the object as a weapon.]")

38 People v. Mayberry (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 165, 170.  ("The last clause of [Penal Code] section 12020, subdivision (a)(1) [California's law against possessing, manufacturing, and/or selling dangerous weapons or other explosives], including the terms "sandclub ... or sandbag" derive from the Dangerous Weapons Control Law of 1923. (Stats.1923, ch. 339, § 1, p. 696.) FN6 "The Legislature obviously sought to condemn weapons common to the criminal's arsenal; it meant as well ‘to outlaw instruments which are ordinarily used for criminal and unlawful purposes.' " (People v. Grubb (1965) 63 Cal.2d 614, 620, 47 Cal.Rptr. 772, 408 P.2d 100, citation omitted.)

39 See CALCRIM 2500. Illegal Possession, etc., of Weapon.

40 California Penal Code 22210 PC. 

41 These facts are taken from People v. Mayberry, endnote 5, above.  And at page 167, ("Defendant's principal claim on appeal is that the workout glove is not within the list of weapons prohibited by the last clause of [Penal Code] section 12020, subdivision (a)(1) [California's law against possessing, manufacturing, and/or selling dangerous weapons or other explosives], which derives from the Dangerous Weapons Control Law of 1923. (Stats.1923, ch. 339, § 1, p. 696.) We agree. The subdivision prohibits the possession of "any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag." (Penal Code Section 12020 PC, subd. (a)(1); italics added.) The trial court instructed the jury that defendant was guilty of the offense if he "possessed a weighted glove[,] ... knew that he possessed the weighted glove [and] possessed the object as a weapon." In the published portion of the opinion we conclude that a workout glove is not "commonly known" as a "sandclub ... or sandbag," regardless that it contained sand or was used by the defendant to hit a victim in the face causing serious injuries, because it did not share any of their descriptive characteristics. "[T]he prosecution [failed to] prove that the item had the necessary characteristic to fall within the statutory description." ( People v. King (2006) 38 Cal.4th 617, 627, 42 Cal.Rptr.3d 743, 133 P.3d 636.)")

42 People v. Grubb (1966) 63 Cal.2d 614, 621 -- overruled on other grounds-- ("...possession of the altered baseball bat, taped at the smaller end, heavier at the unbroken end, carried about in the car, obviously usable as a ‘billy,' clearly not transported for the purpose of playing baseball, violates the statute.")

43 California Penal Code 17730 PC.  

44 California Penal Code 33225 PC.  Section 33215 does not apply to the manufacture, possession, transportation, or sale of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, when authorized by the Department of Justice pursuant to article 2 (commencing with Section 33300) and not in violation of federal law.

45 California Penal Code 22015.  

46 California Penal Code 17700.  

47 California Penal Code 17715 PC.  

48 California Penal Code 17720.  The provisions listed in Section 16590 do not apply to any instrument or device, other than a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun, which is possessed or used during the course of a motion picture, television, or video production or entertainment event by an authorized participant therein in the course of making that production or event or by an authorized employee or agent of the entity producing that production or event.

49 California Penal Code 17735 PC.  

50 California Penal Code 17745.  The provisions listed in Section 16590 do not apply to the possession of any weapon, device, or ammunition by a forensic laboratory or by any authorized agent or employee thereof in the course and scope of the person's authorized activities.

41 Your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If an officer searches you, your car, your business, or your home without a valid California search warrant or probable cause, that officer may violate your Fourth Amendment rights.

52 Oakland criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer uses his inside knowledge as a former San Francisco Deputy District Attorney to defend clients accused of offenses that violate California's firearms and weapons laws throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Marin County and San Jose.

53 California Penal Code 29500.  

54 California Penal Code 32315.  

55 People v. West, (1956) 139 Cal.App.2d Supp. 923, 924. ("Entrapment is the conception and planning of an offense by an officer and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer. Persuasion or allurement must be used to entrap.")

56 These facts are loosely based on those in People v. Makovsky (1935) 3 Cal.2d 366.

57 Your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If an officer searches you, your car, your business, or your home without a valid California search warrant or probable cause, that officer may violate your Fourth Amendment rights.

58 See the code sections listed in ____, above.

59 California Penal Code 19200 (b) 

60 See the Penal Code sections referenced in endnote 1, above.

61 California Penal Code 1170(h)(1) -- Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision where the term is not specified in the underlying offense shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment in acounty jail for 16 months, or two or three years.

62 California Penal Code 672.  Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.

63 See California Penal Code 18010 PC.   

64 8 U.S. Code Section 1227 -- Deportable aliens. 

65 California Penal Code 1203.4 PC -- Change of plea.  This section outlines the procedures by which a defendant can expunge his California Penal Code 12020 PC "manufacturing, possessing, and/or selling dangerous weapons" conviction from his criminal record.

66 California Penal Code 1203.4 PC -- Change of plea.  ("Dismissal of an accusation or information pursuant to this section does not permit a person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or prevent his or her conviction under Section 12021.")

67 California Penal Code 12021 -- Unlawful possession of a firearm.  ("(a)(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 12001.6, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.")

68 California Penal Code 4852.17 

69 See CALCRIM 511 - [A dangerous weapon is any object, instrument, or weapon that is inherently deadly or dangerous or one that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing and likely to cause death or great bodily injury.]

70 California Penal Code 25400 PC.   

72 California Penal Code 29800 PC

73 California Penal Code 25850(a) -- A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.

74 California Penal Code 30600(a) -- Any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives or lends any assault weapon or any .50 BMG rifle, except as provided by this chapter, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of section 1170 for four, six, or eight years.

75 California Penal Code 30530 PC.  (a) As used in this part, ".50 BMG rifle" means a centerfire rifle that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge and is not already an assault weapon or a machine gun.
(b) A ".50 BMG rifle" does not include any antique firearm, nor any curio or relic as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the code of Federal Regulations.

76 California Penal Code  31005 PC.  (a) The Department of Justice may, upon a finding of good cause, issue permits for the manufacture or sale of assault weapons .50 BMG rifles for the sale to, purchase by, or possession of assault weapons or .50 BMG rifles...

77 California Penal Code 245(a)(2)

78 See endnotes ___ and ____.

79 California Penal Code 245(a)(1)

80 See endnotes ___ and ____.

81 California Penal Code 417 PC -- Brandishing a weapon. 

82 California Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC -- Grand theft firearm.  ("Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases:...(d) When the property taken is any of the following...(2) A firearm.")

83 Penal Code 21510 

84 Penal Code 21310 PC provides, in relevant part – [A]ny person in this state who carries concealed upon the person any dirk or dagger is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

85 Penal Code 16470.  

86 Please feel free to contact our Nevada criminal defense attorneys Michael Becker and Neil Shouse for any questions relating to Nevada's firearm and weapons laws. Their Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.

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