Law Blog

California Changes Gun Laws

Currently California law prohibits the possession of a firearm by those convicted of a felony and certain misdemeanors. However new legislation would extend those prohibitions to those with outstanding warrants for a felony or certain misdemeanors.


The proposed provisions were amended not Assembly Bill 103 as one of many provision that deal with public safety, and are expected to be voted on by the Legislature as part of the upcoming budget.


The Nation Rifle Association has weighted in stating that the budget should not be used to push through major policy changes because it bypasses the public hearing process. The NRA claims the new law would violate a person’s due process as warrants can be issued without notice or hearing.
As we at McDowell & Associates review the bill, we agree

the wording does potentially present due process issues. For example, if a warrant was issued for someone for certain a felony, the bill makes it a criminal offense for that person to possess a firearm. However, there is no provision requiring the person to first have been put on notice that a warrant was issued. Therefore, a person could be charged with the offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person without ever knowing s/he was prohibited leading to Constitutional challenges in the already overburdened courts.