Penal Code 33410 PC - Possession of a Silencer - California Law

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<span itemprop=“description” content="In this video, criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse, explains Penal Code 33410, the California law against possession of a silencer for a gun. A silencer is a type of gun modification, that screws into the barrel of a pistol, submachine gun, rifle, or other type of firearm, with the purpose of dampening the sound of the weapon. “Possession” as defined under California law, simply means that the accused has the prohibited item on their person, or has access to the item, such as it being stored in their home or vehicle. Penal code 33410 is a serious crime in California. It is charged as a felony, with a maximum penalty of 3 years in jail and/or prison, and fines up to $10,000. Defendants are sometimes mistakenly charged with possession of a silencer. Legal defenses include that the alleged silencer does not actually meet the legal definition of a silencer, or that the police mistook the item for a silencer however it was really some other type of gun modification like a scope, or something completely unrelated. Prosecutors may also not be able to prove that the silencer was legally in a defendant’s possession, since they would have to show beyond reasonable doubt that the discovered item actually belonged to the defendant, and not to someone else. Finally, if the police used illegal methods to discover the silencer, then a judge may throw out the evidence and dismiss the case. More info at https://www.shouselaw.com/silencers or call (888) 327-4652 for a free consultation. If you or a loved one is charged with a crime 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.">


Penal Code 33410 PC
is the California gun law that makes it a crime for a person, firm, or corporation to possess a silencer.

According to this statute:

“Any person, firm, or corporation who within this state possesses a silencer is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment...or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment."

Note that a “silencer” is a device that reduces the sound of a gun when the gun is fired.

Examples of illegal acts under this code section include:

  • Jill agrees to store her boyfriend's gun collection, which includes a handgun with a silencer, in her apartment.
  • Juan owns a business and buys a firearm with a silencer in the company's name and stores it at his house.
  • Darnell goes to a concert with a 9mm pistol and a silencer in his backpack.

Defenses

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Penal Code 33410. These include showing that the defendant:

Penalties

A violation of PC 33410 is charged as a felony (as opposed to an infraction or a misdemeanor).

The crime is punishable by:

  • a maximum fine of $10,000, and/or
  • imprisonment in county jail for 16 months, two years, or three years.

Please note that in lieu of jail time, a judge may award a defendant with felony (or formal) probation.

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

guns with silencers attached
Penal Code 33410 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person, firm, or corporation to possess a silencer.

1. What is prohibited under California Penal Code 33410 PC?

Penal Code 33410 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person, firm, or corporation to possess a silencer.1

A “silencer” is a device that reduces the sound of a gun when the gun is fired.

Possession” of a silencer typically means that a person is holding it or has immediate access to it.

2. Are there legal defenses to PC 33410 accusations?

If a person is accused of possessing a silencer, then he can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense. A good defense can often get a charge reduced or even dismissed.

Three common defenses to PC 33410 accusations are:

  1. no silencer,
  2. unlawful search and seizure, and/or
  3. falsely accused.

2.1. No silencer

PC 33410 only applies to the possession of silencers. It does not apply to any other objects that may be used with a pistol or other firearm. This means that it is always a valid legal defense for an accused to show that while he may have possessed an object (e.g., a scope), it was not an unlawful silencer.

2.2. Unlawful search and seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that we have the right to be free from unreasonable “searches and seizures” by law enforcement. If authorities obtain evidence from an unreasonable, or unlawful search and seizure, then that evidence can get excluded from a criminal case. This means that any charges in the case could get reduced or even dismissed.

2.3. Falsely accused

Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for people to get prosecuted based on false allegations. People get falsely accused out of

  • jealousy,
  • revenge, and
  • anger.

Thus, it is a valid defense for a defendant to say that a party falsely accused him of violating Penal Code 33410.

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 33410 is charged as a felony.

The crime is punishable by:

  • a maximum fine of $10,000, and/or
  • imprisonment in county jail for 16 months, two years, or three years.2

Please note that in lieu of jail time, a judge may award a defendant with felony (or formal) probation.

4. Related Offenses

There are three crimes related to possession of a silencer. These are:

  1. possession of ammunition designed to penetrate armor or metal – PC 30315,
  2. pointing a laser scope at another person – PC 417.25, and
  3. prohibition regarding assault weapons – PC 30600.

4.1. Possession of ammunition designed to penetrate armor or metal – PC 30315

Penal Code 30315 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to possess any handgun ammunition that is designed to penetrate armor or metal.3

A violation of PC 30315 is a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on:

  • the facts of the case, and
  • the criminal history of the accused.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.4

If charged as a felony, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to three years.5

4.2. Pointing a laser scope at another person – PC 417.25

Penal Code 417.25 is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to point a laser scope at another person.6

Note that, per PC 417.25, the pointing must be made in a threatening manner.

A violation of this statute is charged as a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to 30 days.7

4.3. Prohibition regarding assault weapons – PC 30600

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

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

assault weapons and BMG rifles, except in very specific circumstances.8

If prosecutors convict a person of manufacturing, distributing, transporting, selling, giving away or lending assault weapons or .50 BMG rifles, the defendant faces a felony punishable by four, six, or eight years in the county jail.9

Possession of an assault weapon, per PC 30600, is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If convicted of misdemeanor possession of an assault weapon, a person faces:

  • up to one year in county jail, and
  • a maximum $1,000 fine.

If convicted of felony possession of an assault weapon, an accused faces:

  • 16 months, or two or three years in county jail and,
  • a maximum $10,000 fine.10

Were you accused of possessing a silencer in California? Call us for help…

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

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Penal Code 33410 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 33410 PC. This code section states: “Any person, firm, or corporation who within this state possesses a silencer is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

  2. See same. See also California Penal Code 1170h PC.

  3. California Penal Code 30315 PC.

  4. See same.

  5. See same. See also California Penal Code 1170h PC.

  6. California Penal Code 417.25 PC.

  7. See same.

  8. California Penal Code 30600 PC.

  9. See same.

  10. California Penal Code 30605 PC.

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