PC 171d: Bringing a Loaded Firearm within a Governor’s Residence
Legal Definition: “Any person, except a duly appointed peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a full-time paid peace officer of another state or the federal government who is carrying out official duties while in California, any person summoned by that officer to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while he or she is actually engaged in assisting the officer, a member of the military forces of this state or of the United States engaged in the performance of his or her duties, a person holding a valid license to carry the firearm pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 26150) of Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6, the Governor or a member of his or her immediate family or a person acting with his or her permission with respect to the Governor’s Mansion or any other residence of the Governor, any other constitutional officer or a member of his or her immediate family or a person acting with his or her permission with respect to the officer’s residence, or a Member of the Legislature or a member of his or her immediate family or a person acting with his or her permission with respect to the Member’s residence, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, by fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, if he or she does any of the following:
(a) Brings a loaded firearm into, or possesses a loaded firearm within, the Governor’s Mansion, or any other residence of the Governor, the residence of any other constitutional officer, or the residence of any Member of the Legislature.
(b) Brings a loaded firearm upon, or possesses a loaded firearm upon, the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion or any other residence of the Governor, the residence of any other constitutional officer, or the residence of any Member of the Legislature.
To be convicted under PC 171d, the prosecution must establish that you intentionally:
- Possessed a loaded firearm
- Were not a duly appointed peace officer
- Brought said loaded firearm into the Governor’s mansion, any other residence of the Governor, or the residence of any other Constitutional Officer, or any member of the Legislature.
What does this mean?
This section criminalizes the possession of a loaded firearm in a Governor’s home or a member of the Legislature’s home. There is no requirement that you have any intent to use the firearm, or that you do in fact use it while in those areas listed above. This charge does not apply to police, who are allowed to carry loaded firearms within almost all residences.
In addition, certain crimes are unable to own or possess firearms for various reasons, but most notably based on prior convictions. Most notably, a person convicted of certain crimes in California can lose gun or ammunition purchase rights for up to 10 years, or even for a lifetime. Those restrictions and charges that lead to these restrictions can be found here.
A conviction under PC 171d is a wobbler offense. This means you can be charged with this section as a misdemeanor or as a felony offense. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depends on your criminal history as well as the specific facts of your case. If convicted of this charge as a felony, you could be sentenced to up to 16 months or 2 to 3 years in County Prison. You would be required to serve 50% of this time in custody. If convicted of this charge as a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. You would be required to serve 50% of that time in custody.
This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Court since this offense could be considered an aggravated felony under Federal Law, and is a deportable crime because it involves firearms.
If you are not found on the property of a Governor, you cannot be found guilty of this offense. However, this does not prevent you from being charged with other criminal offenses, such as being in public with a loaded firearm (if not at a residence). For example, under PC 171b. On this note, failing to provide the location where you were present, or evidence that you were not a duly appointed peace officer, would result in insufficient evidence to prove your guilt. Your attorney can argue that there is inadequate evidence to establish your guilt, leading to a possible dismissal of your case.
Another defense available to you relates to potential violations of your rights by the police. There are various ways this can occur. For instance, if the police arrest you and question you about your presence at a certain location without first reading you your Miranda Rights, any statements you make during that time can be excluded from the court proceedings. While this might not entirely dismiss your case, the absence of potentially damaging admissions about your presence in the area could significantly strengthen your defense. Consequently, having an attorney review the evidence in your case and determine if your rights were violated can be crucial in avoiding jail time and moving forward with your life.
Facing a charge under PC 171d can be an overwhelming experience. The potential consequences, including the loss of personal freedoms, firearm rights, and potential negative impacts on one’s professional and immigration status, underscore the gravity of the situation. In times like these, the importance of having a knowledgeable and skilled attorney by your side cannot be overstated.
At Inland Empire Defense, our dedicated Ontario PC 171d attorney understands the intricate nuances of firearm-related charges. With a proven track record in navigating the complexities of cases like these, we are committed to mounting a vigorous defense on your behalf. Our history of successful outcomes for numerous individuals charged under PC 171d attests to our expertise and dedication.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Engage the professional expertise you need to challenge these charges. Contact Inland Empire Defense today at 909-281-0391. Conveniently situated in Ontario, we’re here to stand with you every step of the way.