I. PC 30300: Prohibited Firearm Sales
Legal Definition: “(a) Any person, corporation, or dealer who does any of the following shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not to exceed six months, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the imprisonment and fine:
(1) Sells any ammunition or reloaded ammunition to a person under 18 years of age.
(2) Sells any ammunition or reloaded ammunition designed and intended for use in a handgun to a person under 21 years of age. Where ammunition or reloaded ammunition may be used in both a rifle and a handgun, it may be sold to a person who is at least 18 years of age, but less than 21 years of age, if the vendor reasonably believes that the ammunition is being acquired for use in a rifle and not a handgun.
(3) Supplies, delivers, or gives possession of any ammunition to any minor who the person, corporation, or dealer knows, or using reasonable care should know, is prohibited from possessing that ammunition at that time pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 29610) of Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6.
(b) Proof that a person, corporation, or dealer, or his or her agent or employee, demanded, was shown and acted in reasonable reliance upon, bona fide evidence of majority and identity shall be a defense to any criminal prosecution under this section.
To be found guilty under PC 30300 the prosecution must prove that you intentionally:
- You are a person, corporation, or a dealer, and you sold ammunition to either:
- A person under 18 years of age;
- Sold handgun ammunition to a person under 21 years of age;
- You gave ammunition to a person prohibited from owning ammunition.
II. What does this mean?
This section criminalizes, generally, selling ammunition to people who are legally not allowed to own that ammunition. Similar to a person purchasing alcohol underage, it is a crime to sell ammunition to anyone under 18 years of age, and it is a crime to sell handgun ammunition to a person under the age of 21. Finally, 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.
In regards to the sale of handgun ammunition, if you as the seller reasonably believe that the buyer intends to use the ammunition for a rifle and not a handgun, then the transaction is legal. It is not required that you, as the seller, research and confirm that the person intends to use the ammunition for a handgun (illegal) but lies and claims it is for a rifle. So long as your belief is reasonable, and the person is over 18, then you can defend against this section by showing you lacked the intent to sell the ammunition for a handgun and thought instead its use was for a rifle.
A conviction under PC 30300 under any of the subsections above is a misdemeanor only charge. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to six months in County Jail. You would be required to serve 50% of this time in custody. This would not be charged that affect your ability to own or possess ammunition as indicated on the page above. You would also be subject to a fine of up to $1000, as well as the loss of the sale transaction you made with the prohibited person.
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.
IV. Common Defenses
The defendant is not guilty of (the crime) if he did not have the intent or mental state required to commit the crime because he reasonably did not know a fact or reasonably and mistakenly believed a fact. If the defendant’s conduct would have been lawful under the facts as he reasonably believed them to be, he did not commit. If you reasonably believe the person is not a minor (under 18), or over 21 for handgun sales, you cannot be found guilty of this charge. This can happen on numerous occasions, such as alcohol purchases, when a person uses a fake ID to purchase the ammunition. This means that if you act under an honest, but reasonable mistake as to the person’s age (or their otherwise prohibited status), you are no guilty of that crime.
In addition to the above, if you are able to show that the person was not a prohibited person, then you would be able to show there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the crime. Let’s say, for example, a person has a conviction that gives them a 10-year ban from purchasing ammunition. If you are outside of that 10 year period, and there are no additional convictions (such as a felony or Domestic Violence), then it would be lawful to sell that person the ammunition. There your attorney can argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of this charge, since the person was not in fact, prohibited.
V. Call Today
A conviction under PC 30300 can have devastating impacts on your future, your job, and your immigration status. On top of this, most people who sell firearms for work must be licensed to do so. Although this charge will not remove that license, it could affect your ability to hold a license to sell and affect you when you intend to reapply for it in the future. Ontario PC 30300 attorney has successfully defended many people charged with firearm crimes including under PC 30300. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.