I. PC 32625(a): Transportation of Machinegun Laws
Legal Definition: “(a) Any person, firm, or corporation, who within this state possesses or knowingly transports a machinegun, except as authorized by this chapter, is guilty of a public offense and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(b) Any person, firm, or corporation who within this state intentionally converts a firearm into a machinegun, or who sells, or offers for sale, or knowingly manufactures a machinegun, except as authorized by this chapter, is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for four, six, or eight years.
To be found guilty under PC 32625(a) the prosecution must prove that you intentionally:
- You, a firm, or corporation within this state, possessed or knowingly transported a machinegun.
- You did so without being authorized to do so.
To be found guilty under PC 32625(b) the prosecution must prove that you intentionally:
- You, or a firm, or corporation within CA intentionally converted a firearm into a machinegun
- You sold, offered for sale, or knowingly manufactured a machine gun.
- You were not authorized to do so.
II. What does this mean?
This section criminalizes the possession and transportation of what is considered a “machinegun” in California (defined below). The purpose of the law is based on the notion that machineguns are inherently dangerous and capable of causing serious destruction. And thus, the California Legislature has decided to criminalize the mere possession of a machinegun. The second section criminalizes, to a more severe extent, if you take a normal/regular firearm, and convert that into a machinegun.
As used in this part, “machinegun” means any weapon that shoots, is designed to shoot, or can readily be restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term “machinegun” also includes the frame or receiver of any weapon described in subdivision (a), any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of a person. The term “machinegun” also includes any weapon deemed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as readily convertible to a machinegun under Chapter 53 (commencing with Section 5801) of Title 26 of the United States Code.
A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to sell/furnish/administer/transport it for sale/import/give it away. It is enough if the person has to control over it/the right to control it, either personally or through another person.
A conviction under PC 32625(a) is a wobbler offense. This means that you can be charged under this section as a misdemeanor or as a felony offense. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. You would be required to serve 50% of this time in custody. If you are convicted of this charge as a felony, you could be sentenced to County Jail Prison for up to 16 months, 2 or 3 years. You would also serve at least 50% of that time in custody.
A conviction for converting a firearm into a machinegun under PC 32625(b) is a much more serious charge, and a felony only. If convicted, you could be sentenced to upwards of 4, 6, or 8 years in a State Prison. You would have to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You would also lose your ability to own or possess a firearm for life with a felony conviction.
You also face a mandatory 10-year ban to own or possess a firearm, regardless of the charge is considered a misdemeanor or a felony, click here for more information.
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.
IV. Common Defenses
If you do not possess the machinegun intentionally, then you cannot be convicted of this charge. This charge is a specific intent crime, so failing to show that you knew that you possessed what is defined as a machinegun above, would work as a defense for your case. Your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney would therefore be able to argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of this crime.
Also, if police act in violation of your rights, your attorney can argue for example, that the police did an illegal search and seizure, and evidence of machinegun found would be suppressed, meaning it could not come into court and be used against you. You may have had the illegal machinegun on your person or in your home, but if police were to stop you without probable cause or search your home without a Warrant, then your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can successfully argue that it was an illegal search and seizure, and evidence of the machinegun would be thrown out of Court.
V. Call Today
A conviction under PC 32625 can have devastating impacts on your future, your job, and your immigration status. Not only that, but it’s a charge that carries a hefty prison sentence, and the possible loss of your 2nd Amendment Rights to own or possess a firearm for life with a felony conviction. It is not wise to take charges in a criminal case lightly. Our Ontario PC 32625 attorney has successfully defended many people charged with firearm crimes including under PC 32625. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.