In California, guns may not be as popular as they are in Arizona or Texas, but California has its share of gun enthusiasts who strongly believe in them for self-defense, sport, hunting, or all the above. If you currently own firearms or if you intend to buy a firearm in the near future and you’re facing driving under the influence charges, you may wonder, “Will a DUI conviction bar me from buying a gun?” It depends.
Generally, a misdemeanor DUI conviction will NOT affect your ability to own, possess, buy, or control firearms in the State of California. A felony DUI on the other hand...will bar you from buying and possessing firearms. So, what counts as a felony DUI?
A California DUI is elevated to a felony under the following circumstances:
- It is your fourth DUI within 10 years.
- You seriously injured someone else.
- You have a new DUI with a previous felony DUI conviction on your record.
- You accidentally killed someone while driving under the influence.
Firearms Prohibited Possessors in CA
Under both state and federal law, certain classes of individuals are strictly prohibited from owning, controlling, or possessing firearms in California. Such classes of individuals include but are not limited to:
- Anyone who is convicted of a felony offense, including felony DUI.
- Anyone who has been ordered by the court not to possess firearms as a part of their probation conditions.
- Anyone who is subject to a restraining order for domestic violence.
- Individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors listed in Penal Code Section 29805 (e.g. assault, death threats, possessing a firearm while in a school zone, intimidating a witness).
- Anyone who the court considers is a danger to themselves because of mental illness.
- Anyone who is deemed “mentally incompetent” and cannot stand trial.
- Anyone who has been found not guilty due to insanity.
- Anyone who has been identified as a mentally disordered sex offender.
- Drug addicted individuals.
- Anyone who is an illegal alien.
- Anyone who is running from the law (fugitives from justice).
If you’re facing misdemeanor DUI charges, your right to bear arms should not be at risk; however, if you are charged with a felony, that’s a different story. To protect your freedom, your future, and your gun rights, contact our East Bay criminal defense firm for assistance.