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Penal Code 30320: Selling Handgun Ammunition Capable of Piercing Metal or Armor Laws in California

PC 30320: Selling Handgun Ammunition Capable of Piercing Metal or Armor

Legal Definition: “Any person, firm, or corporation who, within this state, manufactures, imports, sells, offers to sell, or knowingly transports any handgun ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in state prison, or by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

To be found guilty under PC 30320 the prosecution must prove that you:

  1. You sold/transported/offered to sell handgun ammunition capable of piercing armor;


  1. You had knowledge of this fact.

What does this mean?

This charge only applies to bullets/ammunition used in handguns. This charge does not apply to rifles. Armor-piercing bullets and specifically made to penetrate a person, such as a police officer’s, chest, or body shield. These are also known as steel core ammo and steel jacked ammunition. You must also have knowledge that you possess these types of bullets in order to be convicted under this section. The purpose of this section is to protect police from extremely strong and dangerous bullets designed to be able to hit and kill them in the line of duty. If you try to sell or manufacture these types of ammunition, you can be charged here.  If you receive the ammunition, you could be charged under PC 30315, this section is meant only for the sales of that ammunition to another person.

Note, you can also be charged for simply offering to sell, even if you do not actually complete a transaction with another person, or the other person is an undercover police officer.


A violation under PC 30320 is a wobbler offense in California. This means you can be charged with this crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Whether you are charged with this as a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the specific facts of your case, and your criminal history. If you are charged with this as a misdemeanor, you can be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. If you are convicted of this charge as a felony, you could be sentenced to State Prison for up to 16 months, 2 or 3 years. If you are convicted of this section as a misdemeanor you could be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. You would have to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You can also be fined up to $5,000 upon a conviction.

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 could face Deportation in Immigration Court since this crime can be considered an aggravated felony with the use of a firearm.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Coerced Confessions

It is only a crime if the ammunition you are selling is armor-piercing, therefore failing to show that the ammunition is in fact armor-piercing and that you had knowledge of that fact, would act as a defense in your case. Failing to show that you knew it was an armor-piercing bullet as well as your knowledge of that fact, would be showing there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the charged crime.

Also, if police act in violation of your rights, your attorney can argue that the police did an illegal search and seizure, and evidence of the armoring piercing ammunition found would be suppressed, meaning it could not come into court and be used against you. You may have had the illegal ammunition for sale, but if police were to enter your home without a warrant or probable cause, then your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can successfully argue that it was an illegal search and seizure, and evidence of the illegal bullets in your home would be thrown out of Court.

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A conviction under PC 30320 can profoundly impact your life, leading to significant custody time, hefty fines, and far-reaching consequences. Given that prosecutors often collaborate closely with law enforcement, they are typically determined to seek maximum penalties in such cases. Moreover, a felony conviction under this section can have dire consequences, including potential deportation, loss of firearm ownership rights, and even voting privileges.

If you’re facing charges under PC 30320, it’s imperative to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. Our Ontario PC 30320 attorney at Inland Empire Criminal Defense is proficient in handling ammunition sales cases, including those under PC 30320. With a successful track record in such cases, we’re equipped to offer the expert legal representation you need.

For expert legal guidance and robust defense strategies, contact your local Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney at Inland Empire Defense. Call us today at 909-939-7126 for a consultation. We are conveniently located in Ontario, ensuring accessible and reliable legal support for your case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Does the attorney offer confidential consultations?

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Does the attorney offer payment plans?

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Is the consultation free?

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Are the consultations in person or only over the phone?

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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