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Penal Code 29810 PC | Relinquishing Firearms by Convicted Persons


Penal Code 29810 PC | Relinquishing Firearms by Convicted Persons

Overview of Penal Code 29810 PC

Penal Code 29810 PC is the California law that requires individuals convicted of certain crimes to relinquish any firearms they own or possess. This law went into effect in January 2018 as part of Proposition 63, which aimed to strengthen gun control laws in California.

The main provisions of PC 29810 include:

  • Upon conviction for certain felonies or misdemeanors, the court must inform the defendant they are prohibited from owning firearms and order them to relinquish any guns they have.
  • The defendant must fill out a Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form listing all firearms they own or control and designating someone else to take possession of them.
  • The defendant’s designee has a set timeframe to take the guns to law enforcement, sell them to a licensed dealer, or store them with a dealer.
  • Failure to properly relinquish firearms can result in charges for unlawful firearm possession.

Crimes That Require Relinquishing Guns

Not all convictions lead to firearm relinquishment under Penal Code 29810. The law only applies to convictions for:

  • Any felony offense
  • Certain misdemeanor offenses, such as assault, battery, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon, and others.

So if a person is convicted of petty theft, for example, they would not have to surrender firearms. But a felony embezzlement conviction would trigger the relinquishment requirements.

The Relinquishment Process

When a defendant is convicted of a qualifying crime, the court must[1]:

  • Inform them they are prohibited from having firearms, ammunition, or magazines
  • Order them to relinquish any such items they currently own or control
  • Provide them with a Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form

This form allows the defendant to:

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  • List any guns, ammo, or magazines they own
  • Designate someone else to take possession of the items
  • Grant that person power of attorney to dispose of the firearms legally

The defendant’s designee then has a timeframe to take certain steps depending on if the defendant remains in custody[1]:

  • If not in custody: The designee must dispose of the guns within 5 days by surrendering them to law enforcement, selling them to a licensed dealer, or storing them with a dealer.
  • If in custody: The designee has 14 days to properly dispose of any relinquished firearms.

During these timeframes, the designee must submit the completed relinquishment paperwork to the defendant’s probation officer along with receipts showing the guns were properly handed over.

Penalties for Not Relinquishing Firearms

If a defendant does not properly complete the relinquishment process, they face the following consequences[1]:

  • Not submitting the paperwork on time is an infraction punishable by a maximum $100 fine.
  • Still possessing firearms after the deadline could lead to charges under Penal Code 29800, California’s law prohibiting certain people from owning guns. This is a felony punishable by 16 months to 3 years in jail.

In addition to criminal penalties, the defendant risks having law enforcement seize any guns they unlawfully keep.

Legal Defenses

Even when a person is convicted of a qualifying offense, there are some legal defenses if they are accused of violating PC 29810[2]:

  • No conviction: The law only requires relinquishment after a criminal conviction. If charges are dropped or lead to an acquittal, the defendant would not have to surrender any guns.
  • Unclear instructions: Failure to follow the proper relinquishment procedures could potentially be excused if the court did not properly explain the requirements.
  • Good cause: Defendants may avoid penalties if there is a legitimate reason why they could not relinquish firearms on time, like an illness or hospitalization.

Relinquishing Firearms to Comply with the Law

Being convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors results in the loss of gun ownership rights in California. The only way for defendants to comply with Penal Code 29810 and avoid further legal issues is by properly surrendering, selling, or storing any firearms they own or control within the required timeframe.

Consulting with a criminal defense attorney can help ensure this process goes smoothly. An attorney can also advise on any available defenses if a defendant ends up facing charges for not relinquishing guns.

Overall, understanding the relinquishment procedures and strictly following them is critical for avoiding additional penalties on top of an existing criminal conviction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What crimes make you relinquish firearms in California?

The main crimes that require relinquishing guns under Penal Code 29810 are:

  • Any felony conviction
  • Certain misdemeanor convictions, like assault, battery, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon, and others.

Petty theft or minor drug possession would not lead to relinquishment, but a felony embezzlement conviction would.

What is the deadline for relinquishing firearms after a conviction?

If the defendant is not in custody, the designee has 5 days to properly dispose of any guns. If the defendant remains in custody, the deadline extends to 14 days.

What happens if you don’t relinquish guns in time?

Not meeting the deadline to surrender, sell, or store firearms leads to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Illegally keeping guns could also lead to felony charges for prohibited persons possessing firearms.

Can you avoid relinquishing firearms after a conviction?

There are some legal defenses, like showing no conviction occurred, the court failed to provide proper instructions, or there was good cause for missing the deadline. But in general, qualifying convictions will lead to mandatory gun relinquishment.

Who do you give relinquished guns to?

Defendants must designate someone else to take possession of relinquished firearms. This designee can surrender guns to law enforcement, sell them to a licensed dealer, or store them with a dealer.

Key Takeaways on Penal Code 29810 PC

  • Penal Code 29810 PC requires convicted persons to relinquish any firearms they own or control.
  • The law applies to convictions for any felony or certain misdemeanors like assault and battery.
  • Defendants must complete a Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form to hand guns over to a designee.
  • Designees have 5-14 days to properly dispose of relinquished firearms.
  • Not complying can lead to criminal charges for illegal gun possession.

Citation of Sources

[1] Penal Code 29810 PC | Relinquishing Firearms by Convicted Persons – Shouse Law

[2] CA Penal Code Section 29810 | Relinquishment of Firearms – Simmrin Law Group

[3] California Code, Penal Code – PEN § 29810 – Codes – FindLaw

[4] Penal Code Section 29810 and the Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form: What You Need to Know, and to Consider, Right Now! – Appellate Defenders Inc.

[5] Prohibited Persons Relinquishment Form INSTRUCTIONS – Contra Costa County

[6] Firearm Relinquishment – MANDATORY Upon Certain Convictions – New Law

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